Right: Spool and parts made of the Lehvoss filament certified by TÜV Süd

in filaments (along with ABS), especially among hobbyists, owing to its good processing character- istics and its green credentials. The material continues to grow in the sector, in industrial as well as consumer applications. NatureWorks for example recently added to its portfolio of Ingeo grades for AM with the introduction of Ingeo 3D700 for use in large-format 3D printing. “In large-format printing, the higher rate and volume of polymer deposition can quickly result in excessive warpage with certain materials, like ABS, or significant shrinkage as with some polyolefins or even some general-purpose PLA grades,” says NatureWorks. “This can result in failed prints as warping pulls the part away from the print bed or causes layer separation.” NatureWorks says that by controlling the polymer microstructure, it has created an amor- phous PLA, which has a low shrink rate critical for reducing warpage, improving gap fill and adhesion. “As the 3D printing space expands into larger,

more complex applications, we are seeing an increased need for printing materials that are tailored for a specific application or process,” says Dan Sawyer, Business Development Leader for NatureWorks. “With significant growth in large- format additive manufacturing for industrial applications, we saw the opportunity to develop a new Ingeo biopolymer grade specifically designed to minimize the loss of time and material due to failures in large format prints.” If a specialty print requires additional reinforce-

ment, cellulose-based additives are easily com- pounded with Ingeo 3D700, “creating a biobased compound alternative to high-cost petrochemical- based compounds such as carbon-fibre ABS,” says NatureWorks. The company adds that various partners have evaluated Ingeo 3D700 for use in large-format FFF and also direct resin-to-print processes, with positive results. For example, Xiaofan Luo, President at Polymaker, a leading manufacturer of 3D printing material and filaments, says that in addition to lower shrinkage, the com-

pany also measured improved z-layer adhesion. Filament manufacturer MCPP (Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers, owned by, but operated independently of, Mitsubishi Chemical) demonstrated a 11-13% increase in flow rate due to the optimised melt viscosity, compared to a general-purpose PLA. “This resulted in improved gap fill and adhesion between perimeter layers,” it says. “Therefore, it is also expected to be suitable for FGF (fused granulate fabrication) 3D printing.” Another NatureWorks partner, compounder/

Above: The part (A) printed with clear Ingeo 3D700 shows fewer gaps on the top solidfill layers and between perimeters in comparison to the general-purpose PLA grade part (B) in black

30 INJECTION WORLD | June 2021

processor Nexe in Vancouver, supports its manufac- turing efforts by rapidly prototyping new product designs via 3DP. “Off-the-shelf 3D printers can be used to quickly bring Nexe’s designs to life,” says Zac Hudson, Chief Scientific Officer at the company. “With 3D printing, minor modifications can be made to an earlier prototype, and a finished part can be ready for testing in the span of an hour.” Czech 3D printing filament producer Fillamentum has launched its first 100% biodegradable filament for 3DP, NonOilen. This contains PLA and also PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). Sustainability is one of the main principles of Fillamentum, says Josef Doleček, CEO of the company. However, “sustainability cannot be the only consideration when 3D printing. In this case, the filament offers high strength, toughness, hardness, and long-term durability. Just like PLA, NonOilen is easy to print with parts featuring a smooth finish with a natural silk look. NonOilen as well as PLA is safe for food contact applications and can be washed in the dishwasher. In contrast with PLA, NonOilen resists temperatures up to 110°C.” Fillamentum says parts made in NonOilen can either be composted after use or sent back to the company for reprocessing into a new filament. Among major polymer makers, Evonik says it

has a strategic focus on new high-performance materials for all major polymer-based 3DP tech-



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