The Figure 4 family of 3D printers can not only be used to print parts for prototyping and functional testing, but also to print end use parts in short to medium batch productions. This is a brake pedal support arm for an electric vehicle 3D printed on the Figure 4 Standalone using the PRO-BLK 10 production grade material. By production grade material I mean this material has long term environmental stability. Unlike prototyping materials of the past, parts printed with this material will not age with time and bend, warp or break with use. It means you can fit this part in a car and use it for the lifetime of the car. In fact, there are parts on the Figure 4 which have been printed on the Figure 4 itself and will stay on the printer till it’s useful life.
If you look closely you will find that the design of this part has been optimised for 3D printing by making it lightweight but without compromising on the strength. Also unlike 3D printed parts of the past which had visible build lines, the non-contact membrane technology employed by the Figure 4 provides a surface finish comparable to injection molded parts.
To drive my point in, I often hand people parts printed on the Figure 4 and ask them to tell me how the part was oriented on the printer. They struggle to find the build lines and more than often are unable to figure out the orientation. Some don’t believe that the part was 3D printed and think I’m pulling their leg.