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Generating End-Use Parts with 3D Printing and Electroplating

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In this presentation, learn how electroplating expands the material palette of SLA and SLS 3D printing to achieve high-stiffness, wear-resistant parts for end use. While polymer 3D printing enables the creation of complex custom parts, thin metal coatings (25-400 microns) deposited by electroplating transform SLA and SLS models to have metal-like properties including high modulus, electrical conductivity or aesthetic finishes. 

Recently collected data from Formlabs and RePliForm demonstrate that thin-walled parts with a structural copper and nickel coating can achieve a 10x increase in flexural modulus. We also found that metal plating has an amplified impact on high surface area structures such as fine lattices or parts developed via generative design. 

Join Analisa Russo of Formlabs and Sean Wise of RePliForm to learn how 3D printing and electroplating help our customers unlock new applications across product design, manufacturing, art, entertainment and more, and observe a physical demo of the high stiffness and strength enabled by thin metal coatings. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how electroplating expands the material palette of SLA and SLS 3D printing to include metal-like properties.
  • Work with an electroplating service provider to optimize and modify their 3D models to accommodate a structural metal coating.