MATERIALS: Variety of Materials for Additive Manufacturing

Five new high-performance thermoplastic filaments from three suppliers

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Among several diverse 3D printing materials recently launched by three companies for additive manufacturing of parts and tooling and rapid prototyping are four high-performance thermoplastic filaments for the FDM/FSS process, a rubber-like photopolymer for Objet 3D printer, and a TPE-like powder for the SLS process.

Stratasys has added two new materials to its arsenal of 3D printing materials portfolio.

FDM Nylon 12CF, process, is a carbon fiber-filled thermoplastic strong enough to replace metal components in a range of applications. It is said to be ideally suited for a wide range of final part and manufacturing tooling applications where the combination of stiffness, strength and low weight is critical to the performance. Examples include drill guides, end- of- arm tooling, brackets, jigs, fixtures, and even metal-forming tools. The FDM Nylon 12CF is designed for Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer and is compatible with soluble support SR-11-. It requires an updated version of Insight software and a hardware upgrade. The material can produce parts in a layer thickness of 0.010 in. (0.254 mm).

The Agilus30 family of photopolymers—Agilus30 and Agilus30 Black, is designed for designers and engineers that need to simulate flexible or rubber materials. Compatible with Objet260/350/500 Connex1/2/3 Printing platforms, Agilus is said to allow for greater freedom to handle and test flexible parts and prototypes while delivering excellent accuracy, fine details and enhanced product realism.It is said to be an excellent choice for modeling delicate parts that undergo flexing and bending. Examples include overmolding, soft-touch, and living hinges, hoses, seals and gaskets, as well as knobs, grips, pulls, and handles. 

DuPont Performance Materials (DMS) has launched three new high-performance materials in filament forms of Zytel nylons, Surlyn ionomers, and Hytrel thermoplastic elastomers. They are designed for the FFS (fused filament fabricaton) process, also referred to as FDM (fused deposition modeling). DuPont expects the expansion of these proven materials used in various applications in a wide range of industries into the realm of 3D printing to provide users with the benefits of the technology—greater design freedom, lightweighting and reduced product development, allowing for rapid prototyping, part production and mass customization.

            ● Italy’s CRP Technology (U.S. office in Mooresville, N.C.) has launched its first TPE material within its Windform family of materials. Designed for use with the SLS process, Windfrom RL powder is characterized as a durable TPE material with exceptional rubber-like distinguishing features. Its mechanical properties make it  well suited for additive manufacturing applications requiring complex geometries, and where flexible characteristics is a key requisite, and are said to assure high-performance sealing power. .

RL boasts resistance to chemicals and heat, is said to combine superior tear resistance with burst strength, and has a Shore A hardness in the 45-to-80 range. It is said to be ideal for functional rubber-like prototypes and parts, including gaskets, hoses and durable components  for automotive and motorsport applications, as well as athletic footwear and equipment, and for all parts requiring excellent shock absorption.