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Solid Imager Offers Near-Production-Quality Parts : Five-Phase Stepper Motors and Drivers Deliver High Speed and Torque : An Automated Programmer for Fine-Pitch Devices



Manufacturing Equipment

Solid Imager Offers Near-Production-Quality Parts

Comes integrated with software and high-speed resin

A FIFTH-GENERATION SOLID imaging system from 3D Systems Corp. (Valencia, CA) is capable of delivering near-production-quality parts approximately four times faster than the company's current high-end system. The SLA 7000 production solid imager is suitable for use in concept modeling, rapid prototyping, tooling, and near-production applications for the medical imaging industry. Richard Balanson, the company's president and chief operating officer, says that he believes the SLA 7000 system "sets a new industry standard for performance by being an order of magnitude faster than its nearest competitor."

A number of features have been introduced to give the user greater flexibility in setting speed and surface finish. The system is equipped to build ultrathin 0.001-in. layers, which is important for rapid tooling and other applications that require part precision and high surface resolution. The system also boasts a dual-spot, high-powered laser for enhanced throughput and efficiency. System stability has been increased through a self-contained, maintenance-free cooling system that controls the temperature of the laser. A maximum build area of 20 x 20 x 23.62 in. allows users to produce a very large part or multiple small parts simultaneously.

On the software side, the SLA 7000 includes 3-D part preparation and machine control software designed for the Windows NT operating environment. In comparison to previously used Unix-based software, the new software verifies files up to 150 times faster, renders parts up to six times faster, and prepares files more than twice as fast.

Included as well is a high-speed, multipurpose stereolithography resin developed in conjunction with Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. (East Lansing, MI). Features of the resin include fast photospeed and good mechanical properties.

For more information, contact 3D Systems Corp. at 888/337-9786.


Components

Five-Phase Stepper Motors and Drivers Deliver High Speed and Torque

Steppers and drivers come ready to use

A SERIES OF FIVE-PHASE STEPPER MOTORS and drivers from Nyden Corp. (Northport, NY) is designed for use in packaging and pick-and-place robotics, x-y stages, automatic blood sampling devices, and other medical equipment. PSU50-133 drivers are supplied with an onboard power supply and can be connected via a 115-V-ac bus or directly to a 115-V-ac line. Motor drive voltage is boosted internally to 140 V dc, achieving ultrahigh speed/torque performance in comparison to steppers and motors with fewer phases. The drivers are also equipped with an adjustable auto-current-cutback feature to save power and to prevent heat buildup when the motor is idle.

The drivers feature settings for full, half, and quarter steps, making them more accurate than two-phase microstepping motors. Providing a high drive current for higher speeds, the drivers also feature step-and-direction or CW/CCW command signals. Additionally, the drivers contain a drive-current-off command to turn off holding torque for easy manual positioning. The steppers and drivers come ready to install out of the box.

For more information, contact Nyden Corp. at 408/232-7700.


Electronics

An Automated Programmer for Fine-Pitch Devices

Offers throughput of up to 850 devices per hour

THE INCREASING USE of fine-pitch devices resulting from shrinking product sizes causes a number of problems for conventional manual programming systems. Because the devices are prone to electrostatic discharge and pin damage, they must be handled very carefully, which slows down the manufacturing process. The PP 100 automated programmer from Data I/O Corp. (Redmond, WA), a system aimed at medium- to high-volume manufacturing environments with medium to high device-mix requirements, addresses these concerns with such features as universal programming sites, an advanced pick-and-place system, and a throughput of up to 850 devices per hour.

Each of the PP 100's programming sites comes with up to 84-pin drivers. This, coupled with the use of socket adapters for different package types, allows the system to accommodate a wide range of device packages. Users can choose from 4 to 16 programming sites to scale device throughput to their requirements.

Each programming station has an independent controller. As soon as a device is inserted, the programmer begins programming it. This allows continuous operation of the pick-and-place head and higher throughput. The pick-and-place handler can place devices in programming sockets to within 0.005 in. accuracy. The PP 100 can use tray, tube, and tape-and-reel media to receive devices and measures 46 x 32 x 62 in.

The PP 100 is equipped with an Ethernet interface that allows the user to analyze the system's performance and establish a central database for downloading device program data files. The system supports more than 8000 fine-pitch and traditional device types and over 45 data file formats. A vision positioning system, which measures a device's size, shape, and alignment prior to placement in the programming socket, is available. Optional CO2 and YAG laser marking and labeling capabilities are also available.

For more information, contact Data I/O Corp. at 425/881-6444.


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