3D printing Desktop Metal has developed a range of photopolymer resins that can be used to make foam parts.

The company’s FreeFoam resins contain heat-activated foaming agents that are 3D printed using digital light processing (DLP). After printing, parts are heated at approximately 160-170°C where the foaming agent creates closed cells with a dense composition.

According to Desktop, the material can be optimised to expand a specific amount between two to seven times its original printed size.

FreeFoam resin can be 3D printed on the company’s ETEC Xtreme 8K top-down DLP system.

“The market for conventionally manufactured foam has many challenges – from expensive molds that limit designs, to dense and heavy foams that absorb water and are expensive to ship and drive, to the inability to easily dial in strength and Shore hardness values in specific foam designs,” said,” said Ric Fulop, CEO of Desktop Metal.

FreeFoam was invented and developed by Texas-based Adaptive3D, a subsidiary of Desktop Metal that was acquired in 2021.