Germany-based Indmatec is developing a powerful new high-temperature desktop 3D printer for advanced prototyping.
The new machine, the Indmatec Peek Printer 155, is vastly improved over their original machine, the HPP 155. As you might imagine from the name, the new machine is designed to print PEEK, a durable high-temperature material. Indmatec says it’s “high performance like ULTEM”.
Most desktop 3D printing equipment is not able to 3D print PEEK; in fact, PEEK plastics are sometimes used in the machine itself, and if PEEK-level temperatures were attempted, parts of the machine could deform. Indmatec has a machine that does handle such high temperatures.
Of course, a machine capable of high temperatures might be able to 3D print other high temp materials, perhaps even ULTEM. We’re told that the original Indmatec printer could indeed print other materials beyond PEEK, but the new machine’s key advantage is that it is possible to switch materials in only five minutes, whereas it took longer on the original version.
The PEEK Printer 155 is a very attractive unit and it includes a touch screen providing status and control functions.
Indmatec has attempted to simplify operations as much as possible on the new machine, providing automatic leveling and “one click” 3D printing capabilities.
One interesting twist to printing at high temperatures is the method to hold the print to the surface. In lesser machines this is frequently accomplished with a heated printing surface. However, at such high temperatures this may not make sense. Instead, Indmatec provides a special spray that’s applied to a “cold” bed for adhesion. However, the print chamber is entirely enclosed and there’s likely a lot of heat capture taking place.
Indmatec’s approach is perhaps unique in the 3D printing industry: they’ve decided to build a machine around a material, whereas most other companies build a machine and then find materials to use in it. Their materials scientists have developed plastics that match the machine’s characteristics very well, raising print success rates. They’ll also sell spools of their filament for use in other machines, but of course there are no guarantees that it will work effectively.
We’re told the new machine will be available in January 2017 and might be priced near €20,000 (USD$22,500).
Indmatec offers a very unique and specialized desktop 3D printer that could be very applicable in specific situations. While they do sell the machine directly from their website, Indmatec is seeking international resellers and distributors for their equipment and materials.