AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing Materials: Carbon Introduces Biocompatible SIL 30, ARRK Europe Adds a New Flexible SLS Material

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Carbon became known to the world when it unveiled its CLIP 3D printing technology a couple of years ago, quickly grabbing attention with its unprecedented print speeds and advanced, programmable materials. Those materials play a huge part in making the technology work as well as it does, with their complexity and engineering-grade properties, and form a major part of the company’s strategy to advance production 3D printing. Carbon’s materials were among the first polymers to be able to be used for industrial end-use applications; when the company introduces a new material, it’s always worth paying attention.

Carbon’s latest material is SIL 30, a silicone urethane material that combines biocompatibility, low durometer, and tear resistance. The specialty material is designed for comfortable skin contact applications such as headphones, wristbands, and wearable attachments. It’s comparable to commercial TPEs with a shore hardness of 35. You can learn more about the new material here.

“Consumer goods and medical are two industries that show the most promise for using 3D printing for production at scale, which is why we’ve prioritized the development of novel materials like SIL 30,” said Carbon CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Joseph DeSimone. “We now have seven biocompatible materials, more than double the amount of any other additive manufacturing company.”

[Image: Carbon]

SIL 30 has passed biocompatibility testing per ISO 10993-5 and -10, along with several other Carbon resins:

  • Cyanate Ester (CE 220)
  • Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU 40)
  • Rigid Polyurethane (RPU 61)
  • Rigid Polyurethane (RPU 70)
  • Epoxy (EPX 81)
  • Urethane Methacrylate (UMA 90)

All of these materials are suitable for long-term skin contact, meaning more than 30 days, and short-term mucosal contact, which means less than 24 hours. The exception is EPU 40, which is suitable for skin contact only. Carbon plans to obtain biocompatibility information for several other materials in the near future. The company has been working to provide data that supports the safety of its materials for use in biomedical and consumer applications, and has worked with NAMSA, which performed the biocompatibility testing in accordance with the FDA’s recommendations for the use of 10993 standards.

“For several years now, Carbon’s materials scientists have been aggressively working to create the broadest possible range and depth of photopolymer materials with exceptional surface quality, mechanical properties tuned for production, and now biocompatibility,” said Jason Rolland, Carbon’s Vice President of Materials. “We engage closely with our customers to understand their individual requirements as we develop new production-quality materials, so the range of materials that can be used with our M Series 3D printers and Digital Light Synthesisä technology will continue to grow extensively.”

Carbon isn’t the only company introducing a new material today. ARRK Europe has added a new material to its line of SLS 3D printing materials; SLS is one of several services that the company offers its customers. The new material, DuraForm Flex Black, was developed in response to customer requests for a more flexible 3D printed material, and it brings ARRK’s total number of available SLS materials to five, also including DuraFlorm PA, GFN, HT,and EX.

“We are pleased to be able to offer our clients this new material. It’s something that customers have frequently been asking us for,” said Head of Prototyping Division Craig Vickers. “By using traditional DuraForm Flex powder and then applying our own in-house post impregnation technique, we are now able to offer clients improved flexibility whilst ensuring its integral strength. It’s something we’ve developed over time here at ARRK and are very proud about.”

[Image: ARRK Europe]

DuraForm Flex Black offers a shore hardness of between 50 and 60 and is well suited to the manufacture of components like hoses, bellows, or parts with flexible rubber connections.

ARRK Europe’s service include prototyping, engineering, tooling and low-volume production. In addition to SLS 3D printing, the company also offers SLA and a number of other production methods, including CNC machining, vacuum casting and more.

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

 

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