Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3DXTech: New 3DXMAX ASA 3D Printing Filament Made for Sun & Weather Exposure

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3dxtech_lv4_1455794383__93606The 3D printing industry has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry that’s projected just to keep on growing, in both the industrial and desktop levels. Innovations abound, amazing us at nearly every turn, as do major transformations in manufacturing around the world, allowing for better parts (sometimes those that weren’t possible at all previously) to be made quickly and affordably. With all of this comes an outpouring of new hardware, software, and materials. And while 3D printing with a melee of alternative materials is all the trend, the use of polymers still rules. You are probably well-familiarized with ABS and PLA, but there are also some similar but more specialized filaments on the market filling in the gaps where traditional materials are lacking.

Allowing designers and professionals to get a much longer life out of their 3D printed models all around, 3DXMAX® ASA (Acrylonitirle Styrene Acrylate) from 3DXTech is a perfect example of a newer polymer that is not only engineering-grade, but also weatherable and UV-resistant. It’s also exactly what you want if you are not looking for that high-gloss appearance.

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“Our ASA has a low-gloss matte finish and exhibits lower warp versus ABS, making it the perfect filament for technical prints,” Matt Howlett, President of 3DXTech, told 3DPrint.com.

With 25 years in plastics overall, this materials manufacturer has a refreshing amount of experience in an industry that can still be considered fledgling in many aspects. Founded in 2014, the idea behind the company was to focus on making 3D printing materials for suberb functionality that also break through some of the barriers cause by standard filament limitations. We’ve followed this company for quite a while as they’ve released numerous new materials like Carbon Fiber PETG and CF-Nylon and Ultem 9085.

With this latest release, 3DXTech is offering a material for outdoor applications that will allow 3D prints to endure ‘intense exposure’ to the weather, and prolonged sunshine. ASA offers exceptional UV stability, which is why this resin is also used in the automobile, marine, and RV industries.

“Our ASA is ideal for exterior applications such as mirror housings, cowl covers, radiator grills, and sensor housings,” states Howlett.

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Outdoor bird feeder made using 3DXMAX® ASA

If you are working on a more technical 3D printing project that will be exposed to the outdoors, with ASA you can look toward benefits like:

  • UV resistant weatherable polymer
  • Low gloss matte finish
  • Very low / near-zero warp
  • Excellent bed adhesion
  • Incredible layer bonding
  • Mechanical and thermal properties similar to ABS

In recent testing of 3DXMAX® ASA, the 3DXTech team printed out ISO test bars and then had them tested at an A2LA accredited lab. With very similar thermal and mechanical properties as ABS, here are some of the results:

  • Tensile Strength: 43 MPa
  • Tensile Modulus:  2010 MPa
  • Tensile Elongation:  6%
  • Tg:  103°C

Recommended print conditions:

  • Extruder Temp:  235-255°C
  • Bed Temp:  90-110°C, cool the bed down by about 10-20°C after the first couple of layers
  • Bed Prep:  3DXTech Polyimide Tape, ABS / acetone slurry, or hairspray on clean glass
  • Enclosure:   An enclosure is recommended to help keep some heat in while printing with ASA
  • Support:   HIPS support works great to create complex parts.  More about 3DXTech HIPS support can be found here.

This new filament, starting at $29 USD, is available in 10 fade-resistant colors, on reels of up to 25kg for large-format printers. What do you think of the benefits involved with this new filament? Discuss further in the 3DXMAX® ASA 3D Printing Filament forum over at 3DPB.com.

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