Several new AM materials were announced in the past week.
We often receive notes from manufacturers that have developed new and unique materials, but most times the news value is relatively low and these do not warrant a story on their own. However, we thought we might bundle together several material announcements into one post, this one, for your review.
Materials news has been rather quiet recently, after a flurry of announcements in the fall. However, we have four announcements to relay to you.
Boston Micro Fabrication announced a partnership with 4D Biomaterials to permit use of that company’s 4Degra bioresorbable materials on BMF equipment. BMF said:
“This achievement marks the first time a bioresorbable material has been printed using micro 3D printing and will revolutionize the way implantable medical devices are manufactured in the future.”
If you’re not familiar with the term “bioresorbable”, it simply means that the material is eventually absorbed into the body. A common example of a bioresorbable material would be that used in dissolving stitches.
4D Biomaterials CEO Philip Smith said:
“This partnership with BMF represents a huge opportunity when it comes to printing micro-structures. We are enabling medical device companies to think about 3D printing micro-resorbable implants for the first time. The bioresorbable polymers market is estimated to be USD 1.0 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1.6 billion by 20261 We are already seeing the demand from this market growth as the range of applications continues to widen with the advancements in hardware, software and materials technology.”
The new partnership enables the production of very tiny bioresorbable objects using the 4Degra materials. For what applications this could enable, we can only imagine.
Desktop Metal announced yet another metal material for their Production system: DM HH Stainless Steel. “DH HH SS” is said to be both high strength, high hardness and high resistance to corrosive materials. Desktop Metal describes this steel:
“DM HH-SS is a custom, heat treatable-alloy that combines the tensile strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance of 13-8 PH stainless steel with the added benefit of improved hardness comparable to low-alloy steels, such as 4140. These attributes make DM HH-SS a key enabling material for companies looking to eliminate the use of low-alloy steels, which also require a subsequent plating step for applications needing corrosion protection. DM HH-SS is also an ideal material for conformally cooled injection tool core and cavity applications, where millions of injection strokes per year are required.”
DM HH SS is designed for use on the company’s Production System, which apparently now boasts the ability to 3D print in ten certified metals.
Along with some new 3D printers, Formlabs announced a new and very interesting material: ESD Resin.
“ESD” is short for electrostatic discharge, which is safely discharged by the material. This makes it possible for Formlabs equipment operators (well, the resin operators) able to produce parts suitable for many new electronics applications. ESD parts can channel away static electricity that might otherwise zap the circuits of a product. Here’s a short video showing how it works from Formlabs:
Electrical properties are often overlooked by many in the 3D print industry, where mechanical properties dominate the headlines. In fact, ESD is a critical feature for plenty of applications, and now Formlabs equipment can play in that game.
Formlabs is offering free sample parts made from this resin if you are interested in giving them an ESD test.
This last entry is a bit mysterious. Roboze CEO Alessio Lorusso announced the company is to reveal a new material at the end of the month. He said:
“Get ready to welcome a new oustanding high performance and high temperature super polymer, based on a worldwide new groundbreaking formulation aimed to improve mechanical, thermal performance with a surface finish never seen before. It will be available for all current and future Roboze’s ARGO customers without paying any license.”
Sounds intriguing, but we’ll have to wait for the announcement for further details.