AM Investment Strategies
AMS Spring 2023

German RepRap Rebrands as innovatiQ, Sells Silicone 3D Printers in France

Formnext

Share this Article

Silicone is still comparatively limited in 3D printing, with a few firms specializing in the technology and a few more offering printheads capable of depositing silicone materials. That space is slowly growing, however. The latest firm to increase its presence in silicone 3D printing is innovatiQ, formerly known as German RepRap, whose LiQ320 silicone 3D printers, will now be distributed in France by Multistation SAS.

Multistation will have exclusive rights to distribute innovatiQ’s large format and silicone 3D printers in the country. innovatiQ’s technology is unique in that it features thermal polymerization using a lamp to produce parts. This means that items that come out of the LiQ320 are immediately functional, without the need for further post-processing.

Typically, in additive manufacturing, alternatives to silicone dominate for parts that require elastomeric properties. This usually means thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which doesn’t have the same resistance to chemicals, wide range of temperatures, and ultraviolet light as silicone. This is one reason why silicone is such a popular material choice in the medical industry, where sterilizability is crucial.

innovatiQ claims that its printer parts have properties similar to those made with injection molding. Additionally, the system can print with polyurethane. The company claims that it could potentially be integrated into a print farm with automatic unloading, but it is unclear if this is a feature that they offer. However, because of the larger business that owns innovatiQ, it wouldn’t be surprising if some interesting automation features were integrated into their products in the future.

In early 2020, German RepRap was acquired by the Hehl and Keinath families, the owners of German injection molding manufacturer Arburg. The LiQ320 is the rebranded L320 3D printer, first announced in 2019. Arburg already sells the Freeformer 3D printer, which prints using thermoplastic pellets to complement the firm’s injection molding business.

Because Arburg develops robotic systems for semi-automated production cells, it will be exciting to see how it may integrate these same processes into 3D printing. This may be something that the company is pursuing with clients privately on a case-by-case basis. For that reason, the company may be suggesting that the LiQ320 could be feasibly integrated into an automated print farm environment.

If that’s the case, innovatiQ may have a leg up on the competition in silicone 3D printing, and even many 3D printer manufacturers, many of whom are likely working on their own methods for integrating automated robotics into their product solutions. Though Spectroplast and VisoTec also offering silicone 3D printing technologies, the most prominent competitor is WACKER, whose ACEO subsidiary offers silicone 3D printing as a service.

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Unpeeled: ETH Zurich, Stryker and Evonik

Metal 3D Printer OEM Additive Industries Takes on New CEO… Again



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

3D Printing Layoffs Continue with Xerox Elem Additive Division

The additive manufacturing (AM) industry has seen a number of companies contract as the larger economy struggles. This has included firms like Desktop Metal, Fast Radius, Nexa3D, and others. The...

America Makes to Host Technical 3D Printing Event in October 2022

Hot on the heels of its MMX 2022 and 10-year anniversary events, America Makes, the country’s top public-private partnership for additive manufacturing technology and education, is announcing its Fall 2022...

3D Printing News Briefs, October 1st, 2022: Flight-Ready Parts, Rapid Prototyping, & More

America Makes has announced its new Executive Committee members, and PUNCH Torino and Roboze are partnering up to increase the adoption and improve the process of FFF 3D printing. Those...

3D Printing News Unpeeled: 3D Printed MEMS, ASML and iCLIP

Joseph deSimone develops iCLIP which locally injects resins inside a Vat Polymerization build. This lets you use multiple resins in the same print and may be used for multimaterial parts....