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3D systems, DSM Desotech form joint venture. (Your Business in Brief).

3D Systems Corp., Valencia, Calif., and DSM Desotech Inc., Elgin, Ill., have formed OptoForm LLC, a joint venture to develop new equipment and materials for photocurable rapid-tooling and rapid-manufacturing processes. Th materials will include ceramics, composite tooling materials, and toughened plastics suitable for functional parts. R&D is proceeding at both 3D Systems and DSM Somos Div. of DSM Desotech in New Castle, Del.

3D Systems is the world's leading supplier of equipment for stereolithography and selective laser sintering (it acquired DTM Systems' SLS business in 2001). With the purchase of RPC Ltd. in Switzerland last year, 3D Systems also produces SLA materials. DSM Desotech and DSM Somos are major producers of photocurable materials.

The joint venture is developing process technology acquired by 3D Systems last year when it bought OptoForm SARL in France. OptoForm machines for rapid tooling and rapid manufacturing can use liquid or non-liquid materials such as pastes or composites containing glass, ceramics, or metals. With this technology; 3D Systems began developing systems for "DCM" (direct composite manufacturing). Commercialization of DCM is expected in the last half of 2002 or early 2003. The partners believe it will ultimately rival stereolithography in market importance.

The joint venture is placing three OptoForm prototype units at customer locations to aid in development of materials, hardware, and software. Initial tests will focus on automotive and aerospace uses.
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Title Annotation:OptoForm L.L.C.
Comment:3D systems, DSM Desotech form joint venture. (Your Business in Brief).(OptoForm L.L.C.)
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:226
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