If you’ve had any doubts as to the longevity of 3D printing—and certainly there have been numerous critics and skeptics from the outset—just look to the big leagues. While some of the bigger players and originators of 3D printing such as 3D Systems and Stratasys may have shown less than stellar numbers of late, there are others moving into the picture. And HP Inc. would be right at the center as their strategy for entering the 3D printing space continues to emerge with their Multi Jet Fusion system as well as recent acquisitions to further their mission. Just as there has been great speculation about 3D printing, that has also translated over to the idea of HP Inc. within the industry, surely uninvited, but obviously there to stay—and making one move after another.
Now, they are partnering with Evonik, a German company focused on specialty chemicals. Together, the two will be developing new materials for 3D printing, in the form of innovative plastic powders. While they are looking toward the development of numerous plastics in this collaboration, already Evonik has announced that they will be placing VESTOSINT 3D Z2773 on the HP Open Platform Program. This particular powder material, made in the Evonik Resource Efficiency division, is said to possess “superior mechanical properties.” It has also been approved as FDA compliant, and “the components printed on the basis of VESTOSINT can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for food contact,” according to their latest press release. This means that with 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies being used in ‘food production equipment components’ requiring flexibility due to limited quantities or specialized designs is definitely conceivable.
“Through the close partnership with HP and our active participation in the open platform program we anticipate further impetus in the development of new plastic powders for 3D printing use,” said Dr. Matthias Kottenhahn, head of the business line high performance polymers of Evonik.
Known as a leader in specialty chemicals, Evonik is headquartered in Germany, and operates in the Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency, and Performance Materials segments. The Resource Efficiency segment, producing items such as VESTOSINT, is known for creating materials that are both high-performance and environmentally friendly, supplied to industries such as automotive, paints and coatings, adhesives, construction, and many others. As their relationship with HP intensifies, it will be interesting to see what innovations are created with their 3D printing powders.
You will be able to learn more about VESTOSINT high-performance powders at the K 2016 plastics trade fair, being held from October 19-26 in Düsseldorf, Germany. There, numerous innovations will be presented that are relevant to the worldwide plastics and rubber industries. Discuss in the VESTOSINT forum at 3DPB.com.