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DSM Somos Announces X Factor Competition Winners

By DE Editors

DSM Somos (Elgin, IL), developer of high-performance stereolithography (SL) resins, announced the winners of its X-Factor Challenge, a rapid prototyping design competition highlighting the performance features of the company’s new high-impact SL resin, DMX-SLT 100. An extremely durable SL resin, DMX-SLT 100 is based on a new chemistry platform that gives the material high-impact resistance similar to that of thermoplastics.

Mark Horner’s “Discharge Chute.”

The winner’s work will be displayed at DSM Somos’ trade show booths at upcoming exhibitions, including the SME Rapid 2008 Conference and Exposition, scheduled for May 20 – May 22, in Lake Buena Vista, FL. SME Rapid is North America’s largest annual rapid manufacturing conference and exposition.

Judging all entries for the competition was a panel of experts chosen for their knowledge of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing: Tom Sorovetz, RP manager, Chrysler Corp, Detroit, MI; Tom Mueller, co-owner, Express Pattern, Vernon Hills, IL; and Tim Gornet, manager, RPC Operations, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

The competition’s Replacement Part Category required part entries to satisfy the demands of a laser-sintered or cast urethane part, demonstrate the advantages of using SL, demonstrate the capability of DMX-SL to stretch conventional limits of the SL process in terms of stiffness and toughness, and simulate the properties of the end-use material (if a prototype).

The winner of the Replacement Part Category was Mark Horner of The Technology House, LTD, Solon, OH, who submitted a Discharge Chute for a small ride-on tractor. “This was a part that would typically have been made from cast urethane, but Technology House was able to save a few steps by making it directly from DMX,” said Horner. “What impressed the judges is that the discharge chute went through extensive real-world testing without shattering.” The runner-up in the Replacement Part Category was Chris Husmann of Northrop Grumman Corp., El Segundo, CA, who submitted a Gear Wheel designed to replace an injection-molded ABS/urethane part that kept breaking.

The Creative Category required part entries to demonstrate creativity not normally found in industrial applications, clearly demonstrate the advantages of using SL, and fully optimize the stiffness and toughness properties of DMX-SL 100.

Winner of the Creative Category was Vince Anewenter of the MSOE Rapid Prototyping Center, Milwaukee, WI, for his Foosball Man, used in the game of foosball (or table football, as it’s known outside North America). Runner-up in the Creative Category was Ian Campbell of Loughborough University in the UK, for his Personalised Ergonomic Gaming Joystick.

DSM Somos is a material supplier to the rapid prototyping industry, providing SL liquids used for the creation of 3D models and prototypes directly from digital data. Somos ProtoFunctional materials are used by a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and telecommunications.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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