PC-ABS is a blend of polycarbonate and ABS plastic developed by Stratasys. Although PC-ABS blends are widely used to manufacture today's plastic products, a blend has not been available for rapid prototyping and rapid production until now.
Manufacturers make products from PC-ABS because the blend combines the strength of PC with the flexibility of ABS. These manufacturers now have the advantage of modeling with the same material that their end-products are made of. This allows them to better-predict end-product performance. Those performing rapid production will have another high-performance thermoplastic to choose from.
The plastics prototyping blend was beta tested by Daimler Chrysler as well as cleaning system manufacturer, Karcher. According to Andreas Hamp of Daimler Chrysler's rapid prototyping department, Andreas Hamp, the material became very popular at the company during beta tests. "Shortly after we began using PC-ABS at our in-house RP department, we got a lot of part orders for the material," he said. "We have been eager for the official release so we can provide it to in-house customers on a regular basis."
At Karcher, Achim Sanzenbacher likes the toughness of PC-ABS as well as the ease of support removal. "With the new material, we're now able to build parts that were previously difficult to make," he saaid.
Polycarbonate ABS blends are used in production of parts for the automotive, electronic, telecommunications, and toy industries. The blend from Stratasys has excellent thermal and mechanical properties. It is significantly stronger than ABS, and feature detail is similar to that of Stratasys ABS modeling material.
The new material's support material is water-soluble, which permits hands-free removal that shortens the modeling process. Because of the soluble supports, PC-ABS allows excellent feature detail, design freedoms, and single-build assemblies.
To use the new material, existing users must be updated to the most current software configurations. To determine if their system is compatible with PC-ABS or to receive a spec sheet on material properties, readers should contact their Stratasys sales representative. PC-ABS will sell for the same price as Stratasys polycarbonate modeling material.
The Stratasys T-Class platform allows the use of high-temperature, high-performance engineering thermoplastics. Stratasys FDM systems require no special facilities or venting and involve no nuisance, dangerous, or hazardous materials or by-products. Because FDM rapid prototyping systems use popular thermoplastics such as ABS, PC, and sulfone, they are becoming recognized for their ability to rapid produce end products, both for short production runs and custom products.
Stratasys develops rapid prototyping systems.