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TECHNOLOGY | 3D PRINT MATERIALS


for a given print job, so the equipment would need to be cleaned between colours. This limits de- mand, she says. The development of powder materials for 3D printing is complex, with both process and materi- als needing to be adjusted together, Monsheimer says. “That leads directly to the next steps for Evonik: developing new materials in order to open up new applications, and harmonising machines and material systems in order to find an optimum solution suitable for large-scale production.” In February this year, Evonik launched an AM


Above: The latest TPE grades from Evonik for 3D printing are available in black and white


Schramm says Solvay has also worked with


e-Xstream to provide its Digimat simulation tools. He says the right simulation tool is critical when designing parts that are impossible to mould or machine but can be 3D printed as partly hollow structures. “To do this [part design] right, you also need simulation tools to be able to predict the behaviour of the parts and optimise design and topology before actually printing it,” he says. Covestro launched its 3DP Addigy brand late


Right: DSM’s Novamid


AM1030 FR is a halogen-free flame retardant PA6/66 for electronic parts


last year, which it describes as a toolkit of materials and technologies for AM. The company offers thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) and polycar- bonate (PC) materials for fused-filament fabrication (FFF) equipment, as well as some TPU powders for powder bed fusion (PBF) AM processes such as selective laser sintering (SLS).


Powder options The range of AM materials from Evonik has been extend- ed to include ready-to-use powders of copolyester-based thermoplastic elastomers in both white and black colours. “White and black are the most requested colours for powder materials suitable for PBF tech- nologies,” says Sylvia Monsheimer, Head of Evonik’s Market Segment New 3D Printing Technologies. “White is in many cases the ‘natural’ colour and black is often requested for technical parts.” From a technical standpoint, there are not any


limitations on making compounds with other colors for 3D printing, according to Monsheimer. The practical limitation is that most commercial machines can only process one coloured material


30 COMPOUNDING WORLD | May 2020


process selection software tool that is intended to help manufacturers decide whether a part is suitable for 3D printing and what the best technol- ogy and material would be given the specific part requirements. The software, developed by Israeli start-up company Castor, analyses existing computer-aided design (CAD) files to develop a report that gives a “break-even point” for AM compared to traditional manufacturing for any given part. This is based on technical and econom- ic analysis. Evonik expects the tool to help widen adoption of AM and provide a clearer insight into users’ needs and preferences, which it will use to inform future material development, according to Monsheimer. At present, the 3D Screener on Evonik’s website includes its own material prod- ucts; the Castor version includes other materials. Another recent Evonik development is a free- flowing bioresorbable powder — Resomer PrintPow- der — for production of implantable medical devices using the SLS technique. The powder is said to offer tight specifications and can be used for ISO 13485-certified formulations (Evonik is a GMP supplier that can provide bioresorbable polymers in filament, granule and powder forms). The latest AM developments


from DSM include the introduc- tion of a flame retardant PA6/66 material for open application as well


as several new partnerships intended to


develop products for specific AM “ecosystems” (combining materials with machinery and services). The new, non-halogenated flame-retardant filament material — Novamid AM1030 FR — is a PA6/66 for automotive, electronic and other applications. The company says the new material is certified to V-0 at 1.6 and 3.2mm, and V-2 at 0.85mm. It carries a UL Blue Card that certifies its use in combination with an Ultimaker S5 printer,


www.compoundingworld.com


IMAGE: EVONIK


IMAGE: DSM


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