Essentium, Inc, Austin, Texas, USA, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Collider, Chattanooga, Tennessee, a developer of programmable tooling which combines Digital Light Processing (DLP) Additive Manufacturing and the material strength of injection moulding. Essentium believes that the addition of Collider to its portfolio will enable manufacturers to reduce lead times and increase innovation.
“Collider has a lot to bring to the table,” stated Jeffrey Lumetta, CTO, Essentium. “Their innovative method of bringing together proven technologies to create high-value use cases has already proven their industry value. We see significant opportunities in tooling for low volumes of parts and the ability to manufacture geometrically complex, custom parts on-demand and quickly.”
Instead of the permanent, hard tooling mould, Collider’s DLP AM technology creates a thin photopolymer shell which is then injected with a variety of materials and cured through a chemical process. After post processing, a production-quality part or mould is left.
Collider’s AM technology is said to unlock a vast array of high-performance thermosetting polymers and composites including polyurethanes, silicones, epoxies, polyesters, foamed resins, carbon fibre composites, as well as sintered metals and ceramics, with one machine.
The technique is reported to have structural integrity on par with injection moulding processes and creates highly detailed aesthetic surfaces, enabling manufacturers to speed up the design process and obtain parts at shorter lead times.