WACKER Opens New ACEO Open 3D Print Lab at Ann Arbor Facility

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Munich-based WACKER is known for their expertise in manufacturing and supplying chemicals and materials to industry leaders. They are now adding to their silicone research and development facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, dedicated a portion of it to an ACEO® Open Print Lab. With 3D printers already on site, they will be advising on additive manufacturing with a range of silicone rubber materials, varying in Shore A hardnesses and color.

WACKER considers the ACEO products to be pioneering technology, based on use of their silicone materials. ACEO techniques rely on their proprietary 3D printers, developed at WACKER, along with accompanying software and materials. All their unique methods have been rigorously tested for 3D printing ‘highly viscous’ silicone polymers which are used in ‘drop-on-demand’ processes, suitable for the following applications:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Healthcare
  • Equipment
  • Mechanical engineering

The Michigan site follows the success of the world’s first 3D printing web shop opened by WACKER in 2017, and then the WACKER ACEO Open Print Lab in Burghausen, Germany, in 2017—where customers have been able to find out exactly how the use of silicone rubber and 3D printing can further manufacturing and industrial endeavors. With the popularity of that lab, they realized the need for a similar forum within North America. The Open Print Lab, meant to offer a local presence and AM solutions to other users and businesses, will host tutorials as well as giving hands-on training to customers interested in 3D printing with silicone.

“We are pleased to announce another milestone in ACEO’s history with the launch of the Open Print Lab in Ann Arbor,” says Dr. Bernd Pachaly, Head of Project 3D Printing at WACKER SILICONES. “North America is one of the leading markets in additive manufacturing. Our new facility brings 3D printing with silicones much closer to potential customers in the region.”

WACKER opened its first US based ACEO® Open Print Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today. The new facility is equipped with two 3D printers able to process a broad range of silicone rubber with different Shore A hardnesses and in varying colors. (Photo: WACKER)

Headed by Lab Manager Sarah Burke, (previously at the Silicones R&D Center in fundamental product research for construction applications and consumer care), the lab will be equipped with two 3D printers, where ACEO’s manufacturing technology will be used for training and developing—exposing other users and companies to its usefulness in serial manufacturing and affordable production of replacement parts, or those that have become obsolete. Workshops will be offered to small groups of four or less, who will experience personal training in both theoretical and hands-on 3D printing education, from the basics to advanced design.

“Our business partners in the region want to understand how their ideas and products can be brought to market with our support. WACKER’s Silicone R&D Center in Ann Arbor was designed to develop advanced and forward-looking solutions for silicones. With the new Open Print Lab, we can significantly expand our local portfolio and contribute to the growing demand of the market,” says Ian Moore, Vice President of WACKER SILICONES at Wacker Chemical Corporation in Adrian, Michigan.

Are you interested in finding out more about a workshop? If so, register for training tailored to your needs at the ACEO campus in Ann Arbor, and find out more here. Find out more about other innovations we have covered regarding silicone, for items like insoles, conductive materials, or even soft robotic grippers

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: WACKER/ACEO]

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