AMS Spring 2023

NatureWorks Introducing New Ingeo 3D450 PLA 3D Printing Formulation

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Advanced materials company NatureWorks, headquartered in Minnesota and jointly owned by Cargill and chemical producer PTT Global Chemical in Thailand, is the world’s leading manufacturer of Ingeo material, a PLA biopolymer. Much of the PLA used in 3D printing comes from Natureworks. Valued due to their unique functional properties, Ingeo materials are used in multiple products, ranging from coffee capsules and tea bags to appliances, industrial tools and jigs, and 3D printing filament. Now, the company announced its latest PLA grade – an Ingeo formulation meant to reduce problems with breakaway 3D printing support material on dual extrusion systems.

Ingeo 3D450 provides a clean, fast mechanical breakaway of support structures, which leads to professional parts made with high precision and finish quality. The material also helps ensure an improvement in productivity, and a decrease in post-processing time as well.

“There was a significant reduction in part cleaning times, about 10 times faster than using PLA supports. 3D450 prints faster than soluble support materials,” stated Voodoo Manufacturing, one of several partners that are beta testing the new Ingeo grade for NatureWorks. “Additionally, we have been able to lower the support roof to model spacing, which results in better bottom-part quality.”

The new break-away material formulation was designed to work with the Ingeo 3D series of grades that the company developed for the professional 3D printing market, such as 3D850 and 3D870. Ingeo 3D450 can print and cool with no signs of warping, at 3D printing speeds of up to 100 mm per second, and even across larger sections of support structures, which is quite a feat.

“MatterHackers PRO Series Breakaway Support, using Ingeo 3D450, works well offering clean printed surfaces and clean breakaway material,” said beta tester MatterHackers. “It is more convenient than other, dissolvable, support offerings. There was no residue on the hot-end, and we found no filament or printing issues.”

Ingeo 3D450 is able to decrease, and even eliminate, those pesky buildability and speed issues that can sometimes occur when you’re using water soluble support materials, such as high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). This new grade actually has a longer, more stable shelf life than these other materials, in addition to significantly less moisture sensitivity during the 3D printing process, and is also very compatible with large-format 3D printers.

In addition, because Ingeo 3D450 breakaway supports don’t need a solvent bath to be removed from a 3D printed part, users won’t need to worry about the typical size constraints when they need to submerse a build with PVA supports in the water. Having searched high and low in my kitchen cabinets a few months ago to find a container that was deep enough to completely submerge a tall eagle I’d printed with a lot of PVA support material, this sounds great to me.

“Our team liked the increased brittleness,” said Slant 3D, another beta tester. “It was easier to break through grid supports. It flowed smoothly and consistently.”

Battery isolator cover printed by IC3D with Ingeo 3D450 supports before and after removal.

There are plenty of applications for NatureWorks’ new Ingeo 3D450 support material, including patterns for investment metal casting, complex industrial parts like fixtures, architectural and retail models, and the battery isolator cover that IC3D completed as a beta tester for the material.

IC3D said, “D450 printed perfectly flat. There was zero warping or bending.”

You can now purchase filament made with Ingeo 3D450 from 3D-Fuel and MatterHackers. NatureWorks, and its sales channel partners in the US, Europe, and Asia are selling resin in 25-kg and 750-kg quantities.

Next week at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference in Chicago, Titan Robotics will be demonstrating the Ingeo 3D450 filament, made by 3D-Fuel, on its new Atlas hybrid filament and direct pellet extrusion printing system. The demonstration will take place on Monday, April 1st from 10 am to 2 pm at Titan’s booth #78.

Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

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