rp+m Collaboration Delivers Non-Toxic Alternative to Lead
A new 3D printing technology offers the medical and aerospace markets a safer alternative to lead, a material currently facing global restrictions due to safety and toxicity issues.
Lead long has been the standard for shielding patients, providers and their environments from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. rapid prototype + manufacturing (rp+m), Avon Lake, OH, is the first 3D printing company to offer open-source printing of tungsten, a viable alternative to lead that is non-toxic, blocks radiation with equal efficacy to lead and requires 40- to 50-percent less wall thickness and less mass to deliver equal protection.
It recently collaborated with ExOne, a North Huntingdon, PA-based provider of 3D printing machines, to develop the application of bonded tungsten in the design of rp+m’s products. Using ExOne’s M-Flex machine, a multi-material 3D printer, rp+m now can produce parts without the use of tooling – a process that can cost companies upward of $30,000 per product request.
rp+m and its partner, Radiation Protection Technologies, deliver bundled lead replacement solutions for the medical imaging and aerospace markets. The new technology does not require injection molding, so rp+m can provide customers parts faster and without the need for capital costs.
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