It’s a Big Week for 3D Printing Materials at RAPID 2017 and Around the World

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We’ve been racing to keep up with the announcements rolling out of the RAPID + TCT show this week, as companies introduce new 3D printers, partnerships, software, and much more. There have also been quite a few announcements on the materials side of things – both from companies at RAPID and elsewhere. Let’s take a look at just a few of them!

Formfutura has already produced several interesting and unusual filaments, most recently StoneFil, a series of PLA materials filled with powdered stone of different kinds. Now, Formfutura is going green with ReForm, a series of upcycled or recycled materials. ReForm currently offers three options: rPLA, rPET, and rTitan, which are based on the same formulations as EasyFil PLA, HDglass, and TitanX, except that they’re made from residual extrusion waste streams that are re-compounded and homogenized into new filaments.

By residual extrusion waste streams, Formfutura is referring to the filament that doesn’t meet the company’s stringent diameter tolerance requirements. The material itself is perfectly fine, so instead of throwing it out, Formfutura is sending it back to the beginning of the process, creating new filament. All three of the new filaments are currently available in off-black for either €24.95 or €29.95 per spool. Even the packaging was designed with an eye for sustainability: both the spools and boxes they’re shipped in are made from recycled cardboard. The materials are also compliant with FDA food and drink contact articles.

Polymer material manufacturer Covestro is bringing some new materials to RAPID. Specializing in polyurethane and poylcarbonate 3D printing materials, Covestro is now offering several new options that the company believes will propel it into a position as a leader in 3D printing materials.

“We’re not new to this space, but we have typically been in the background,” said Dan Pothala, business development & partnering, Additive Manufacturing, Covestro LLC. “Now, we believe the time is right for Covestro to step forward and demonstrate the important role our high-performance materials can play in making new industrial end-part production a reality.”

If you’re at RAPID, you can visit Covestro’s booth #1029 and check out the new material solutions they have on display, such as:

  • Filament made from polyurethane and polycarbonate for applications such as athletics, medical or electrical
  • Powder technologies using polyurethane for applications like footwear
  • Liquid resin, also using polyurethane, for a variety of applications

RAPID attendees will be able to take a look at samples 3D printed with Covestro’s wide variety of materials, and see them being printed on Mass Portal‘s Dynasty Additive Manufacturing System.

Finally, Chemson Group will be displaying its 3DVinyl material, first unveiled last year. Over the past 12 months, Chemson has been working on improving the thermoplastic PVC formulation, and it’s now better than ever, according to the company, which is getting ready to commercialize the product.

“We are coming to Rapid with a new set of objectives – to establish new professional and industrial relationships to better understand customer needs and expand the evaluation and field testing network as we approach commercialization. We hope to engage and collaborate with industry to help us further improve the current formulation within the context of industrial and product manufacturing use cases that can’t be effectively emulated in our lab and previous field testing environments,” said Dennis Planner, 3DVinyl™ Product Manager and co-inventor. “We welcome expressions of interest from all those interested in evaluating 3DVinyl™ and discussing collaborative use cases.”

Among the changes Chemson has made are improvements to the Z-axis interlayer adhesion, impact resistance and thermal stability, as well as reduction of warpage. The company has been working with several partners including Titan Robotics, Push Plastic and 3DMatter.

“After this initial success of having a printable version of PVC in the form of 3DVinyl™, the international Chemson team is currently undertaking concerted efforts to adapt PVC’s well established unique potential and versatility for applications in the 3D Printing/AM world,” said Dr. J.-Dieter Klamann, MD of Chemson Pacific and 3DVinyl™ co-inventor. “These new PVC products will be introduced step-by-step into the 3DP community after basic 3D printability is assessed in our rigorous pre-tests. We look forward to the discussions at the RAPID event to assist us in determining the next grades of PVC to target for 3DVinyl™ developments.”

3DVinyl will eventually be available in both filament and pellet form, to encompass a wider array of 3D printers and thus applications. If you want to take a look at 3DVinyl in person, stop by and visit Chemson Group at Booth #1051. Discuss in the 3D Printing Materials forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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