Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2014 • 71 She points out that sign shops should start looking at this market as a way to offer added service options for their cli- ents. "I could see some sign shops integrat- ing SRP milling machines or 3D print- ers into their existing operations to cre- ate three-dimensional signs," Hammer says. "For example, MDX machines are capable of cutting into outdoor signage materials, such as compressed polyure- thane foam, to create eye-catching 3D elements that can be attached to (or built into) a sign to make it 'pop' and really bring it to life." Service Bureau Solutions For providers who are new to this technology, there are a number of ser- vice bureaus that cater specifically to the 3D printing market. One such firm, Sculpteo—with locations in Paris, France, and San Francisco, Calif.—has expanded its 3D printing services espe- cially for professionals and businesses in need of short-run 3D print manufactur- ing. The company's website Sculpteo. com allows users to upload a 3D file, change the size and dimensions of the object directly within the browser, select a printing material, and order their design to be 3D printed and shipped. Arthur Cassaignau, business devel- oper at Sculpteo says that Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printers are the industry standard when it comes to 3D printing with plastics. "They offer the ability to rapidly prototype exact models with near plastic injection-mold quality at a fraction of the time and investment needed," he says. "There are other mate- rial options available as well, everything from fully colored sandstone to precious metals like gold and silver." Cassaignau believes that 3 D printing offers great opportunities for sign shops, beyond just prototyping. "When it comes to individual customization, 3D printing is the obvious answer. Highly detailed products can be produced in minimal turnaround time, ready to be shipped directly to customers." Output Offerings from 3D Systems 3D Systems is probably the largest manufacturer of 3D printers for all mar- kets. The company recently announced the immediate availability of its ProX 950 SLA 3D printer—said to be the largest- format, highest-speed, greatest accuracy and greenest 3D printer available today. The ProX 950 is equipped with the com- pany's newest PolyRay printhead tech- nology that can manufacture real parts at up to 10 times the speed of other 3D printers drawing on the widest choice of e technology will establish itself as the process for complex, low-volume, high-value, and highly customizable products.

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