Last month, global chemical company Huntsman Corporation introduced its new IROPRINT range of additive manufacturing filaments, powders, and resins at the K 2019 trade fair in Düsseldorf. Huntsman also attended the recent formnext 2019 in Frankfurt, and unveiled IROPRINT F 80112 filament and IROPRINT R 1801 resin – two of its new urethane-based 3D printing materials.
The company also announced at formnext last week that it has formed a strategic collaboration with SLA 3D printing leader DWS to help bring IROPRINT R 1801 to the SLA market.
“This announcement is the culmination of more than two years of close cooperation between DWS and Huntsman – and is our first collaboration in the field of radiation curing 3D printing. This is also the first time that DWS has teamed up with a major polyurethane provider, taking advantage of our world-class equipment, technology and people,” stated Stephane Peysson, Global Business Development Manager at Huntsman. “As we build our 3D printing ecosystem, we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with DWS, a highly innovative, pragmatic and focused company. Working together with DWS was really easy. As organizations, we are very similar. Both companies have strong links to the families that founded them, and are entrepreneurial and flexible. Crucially, we are also both aligned in our commitment to furthering the adoption of 3D printing in mass manufacturing.”
While Huntsman itself created the material, the two companies have worked together very closely during development of the new IROPRINT R 1801 resin so that it would be properly optimized for SLA 3D printing. Huntsman brought its “technology leadership in UV cured polyurethane technology” to the table in the partnership, while DWS contributed its expertise in developing SLA 3D printers.
SLA technology can be used to produce extremely smooth, detailed shapes and surfaces, without requiring any timely or expensive post-print curing processes. The new radiation-cured IROPRINT R 1801 is a one-component polyurethane resin, which offers a high quality surface, the proper mix of strength and elasticity, and great resolution.
The material is flexible, soft, easy to print, and is able to be adopted quickly into manufacturing environments in order to fabricate sports equipment, footwear, and other products that need to look and feel just like rubber.
“With the development of IROPRINT R 1801 resin for SLA, DWS and Huntsman have created a manufacturing solution that will help ease the adoption of 3D printing processes into the manufacturing environment for the creation of a multitude of industrial, rubber-like products, including, specifically, footwear and sports equipment,” said Maurizio Costabeber, the Chief Technology Officer at DWS. “As a well-established player in SLA, we produce a large range of our own materials for 3D printing. Working with Huntsman, though, we sped up the development of a joint solution, which avoids the post processing complexities of other existing methods, while delivering – at the same time – the desired result in terms of surface quality and definition on finished products.”
This cooperation between DWS and Huntsman will provide industrial manufacturers of footwear, sporting equipment, and additional rubber-like products easy access to the SLA 3D printing of the flexible new IROPRINT R 1801 resin.
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