Using PolyJet 3D Printing Technology for Shock Absorption

Shock and energy-absorbing components are often used as a safety measure to dissipate runaway energy in case of a component or system failure. Practical examples of shock absorbing components include bumpers, isolators, fasteners, mounts, spacers and pads.

  1. Step 1: Applications

    Typical shock absorption applications include:

    • Absorbing vibration and shock loads

    • Accepting a large load deformation with practically no friction

    • Prevention of noise generation

    • Sealing (liquid or gas)

    With PolyJetTM ConnexTM 3D Printing systems it is possible to print parts that provide shock absorption. Designers plan varying areas of absorption in the CAD software and transform these into shells for STL file conversion. PolyJet Digital Materials with Shore levels matching the desired shock absorption criteria are used to produce the parts. The mechanical properties of the digital materials can simulate the end-product’s material requirements, rendering functional testing possible. Simulation of shock absorptions can take the form of:

    Protective covering – coating applied on rigid parts to provide protection

    Vibration damping – coating applied to provide damping of vibration

  2. Step 2: Recommendations

    • Save the design in separate STL files according to the different parts. This is recommended for flexible areas, as well as for rigid parts. Later the parts can be printed in different color tones to visually separate areas of the model.

    • When printing a spherical surface that involves rigid and flexible materials, it is recommended to print the part so the rigid material will be underneath the flexible one (as shown below). Otherwise distortion may occur in the lower part made of the flexible material.

    • Label each part that you evaluate with its relevant Shore value. The label will help you easily determine later which Shore value represents the suitable shock absorption score in your evaluation criteria tests.