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.
Essentium, a company always pursuing advanced materials, made another key announcement this week: PPS-CF. This is a high-performance material made from PPS and 15% chopped carbon fiber, and, according to Essentium, could substitute for the more expensive PEEK and PEKK materials in some applications. PPS-CF is made with PPS resin from LEHVOSS Group’s LUVOCOM 3F resin.
Stratasys announced a dramatic change in their materials policy. For years their equipment accepted only Stratasys materials, which certainly allowed them an ongoing revenue stream. But these days of increasing variety of engineering materials means it is challenging for any 3D printer manufacturer to keep up. To allow for the greatest use of advanced materials in the company’s FDM equipment, they now have an open materials policy for their FDM systems.
The system includes three tiers: Stratasys Preferred, which seems to be their house brand, offering direct support in slicing software; Stratasys Validated, which is third party products that have been properly tested; and Open, which are unvalidated materials from third parties.
This is a significant change for the company and should make things a lot more interesting for everyone.
Covestro has partnered with voxeljet to develop materials for the latter’s advanced HSS 3D printing process, which is a strange but effective combination of both SLS and binder jetting technologies. It’s unknown the specifics of what they are working on, but the two previously developed a TPU powder for use in voxeljet equipment.
Wematter, a Swedish company producing a rather interesting SLS device, announced Aurora PA6 AM, a high temperature material with good mechanical qualities. This makes three new materials from the company this year, along with TPU and ESD powders announced earlier.
Zotrax announced the availability of BASF’s Ultrafuse materials on their M300 Dual 3D printer. Specifically, BASF Ultrafuse PP GF30, a glass reinforced filament, and PAHT CF15, a polyamide reinforced with 15% of carbon fiber were released. Zortrax is targeting PP GF30 for the automotive market, while the PAHT CF15 is intended for robotics, aerospace or other high performance applications.
6K Additive, a producer of ultra-high quality metal powders using an unusual process, announced an arrangement with Freemelt to develop new metal powders for Freemelt’s EPBF system. The pair are expected to develop new refractory metal powders, including tungsten.