AMS Spring 2023

ACEO Introduces Multi-Material 3D Printing for Silicones

6K SmarTech

Share this Article

It was only a little over a year ago that silicone 3D printing became an industrial technology for the first time. Wacker Chemie introduced its ACEO brand and ACEO Imagine Series K 3D printer to the world in July 2016, bringing silicone into the 3D printing industry at a level it had not existed at before. Silicone 3D printing wasn’t brand new at that point, but Wacker Chemie’s ACEO team was the first to introduce an industrial 3D printer for silicones, along with a comprehensive, mature 3D printing technology.

ACEO’s silicone materials were the first elastomers that could be 3D printed while retaining properties such as biocompatibility or temperature or radiation resistance. The company developed a technology for 3D printing the materials, known as drop-on-demand, that involved the deposition of tiny drops of silicone material on a sterile substrate. The droplets flow together before being bound together by a UV curing process. The material and process are also compatible with a water-soluble support material. The ACEO team then developed hardware and software surrounding the material and technology, and presented it for the first time last summer.

Silicone 3D printing is well-suited to the creation of functional prototypes, small product series, biomodels and more. It can create complex inner structures and what ACEO calls “impossible objects,” or items with geometries that have never been able to be produced before. The ACEO team has now taken its technology a step further, and at formnext in November, they will present another first: the ability to 3D print different silicone materials together at the same time.

“This latest development is yet another milestone in ACEO‘s history,” said Dr. Bernd Pachaly, Head of Project 3D Printing. “Silicones of different colors, hardness or even chemical or physical properties can now be placed independent from each other at any given point throughout the process, which allows sharp as well as merging gradients. The result: even more freedom of design in the construction of objects with multiple materials 3D printed in one single process, in particular soft and hard segments.”

Silicone 3D printing has come a long way, and Wacker and ACEO have played a huge role in its process. ACEO serves as Wacker’s silicone 3D printing, consultation, development and services brand, and also launched the first web shop for 3D printing with silicones. Users can upload their designs, get a quote, then have those designs 3D printed in silicone and shipped to them. Earlier this year, the company opened the ACEO Open Print Lab, a facility offering workshops and hands-on experience with ACEO silicone 3D printing technology.

Wacker Chemie, and its ACEO brand in particular, have firmly established a reputation as pioneers in the silicone 3D printing field. This new process of 3D printing multiple silicone materials together should further serve to solidify that reputation. In a little over a year, silicone 3D printing has gone from a rarely-used technology to a full industrial one, and it’s only continuing to advance.

Wacker and ACEO will be presenting the new process at formnext, which is taking place in Frankfurt, Germany from November 14 to 17. 3DPrint.com will be on-site at the busy conference to see the latest in additive manufacturing.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images provided by Wacker Chemie]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Briefs, November 26, 2022: 3D Printed Coral Reefs & Moon Habitat & More

3D Printing News Unpeeled: Wipro Launches a 3D Printer, Liux Wants to Make more Sustainable Cars



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Formnext 2022: 3D Printing News Roundup

While additive construction is being deployed at this very moment to aid in a military conflict between India and China, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry is focused on Germany. We’ll see how...

US Army Chooses MELD to 3D Print Metal Military Vehicles

ASTRO America, the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMII), and the United States Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (DEVCOM GVSC) have partnered to develop a...

Featured

MELD Awarded $1.5M for Metal 3D Printing Repairs for the US Navy

It was a big day at MELD when the firm obtained $1.5 million from the U.S. Navy for maintenance and repair operations (MRO). MELD 3D printing is similar to a...

3D Printing News Briefs, October 24, 2020: nTopology & Etteplan, DSM, CAR3D Project, MELD Manufacturing

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about a partnership between nTopology and Etteplan, a new material from DSM, CAR3D’s COVID-19 protection equipment, and a pretty cool 3D printed...