Quantica’s NovoJet to Unlock New 3D Printing Applications with ALTANA

By on March 25th, 2024 in materials, news

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Inspecting a part made with viscous resins [Source: Quantica]

Quantica made a strategic announcement about future 3D printing materials.

Since 2017, the German company has been developing an unusual 3D printing process that makes use of inkjet printheads. That by itself isn’t novel, as there are plenty of 3D printing processes that use inkjets, most notably binder jet systems.

Inkjet printheads involve dozens or even hundreds of very tiny closely-spaced nozzles. These would selectively drop “ink” onto a surface, enabling the printing process. The catch is that the ink material must be thin enough to easily pass through the nozzles and form droplets.

This greatly restricts the types of materials that can be used in an inkjet system.

However, Quantica’s approach is different.

They’ve somehow managed to create a system where enormous pressures and temperatures are used to push liquid materials through advanced inkjet nozzles. Quantica told us their NovoJet system can push with 60=100X more force than typical inkjets. This opens up the possibility of using far more viscous materials than can possibly be used on normal inkjet systems.

That’s important, because materials with higher viscosities can have a wider range of engineering properties. Resin additives can bring all manner of unusual capabilities to a material.

Sounds good, but what are these new materials?

Quantica is a machine-building company, not a materials company, so the question was, how were these new and unusual material going to be developed?

The answer came the other week with an announcement from Quantica, which revealed an arrangement with ALTANA, a large German chemical company. ALTANA produces a wide range of materials for packaging, cosmetics, electronics and much more. Notably, they specialize in functional additives to create more useful materials.

Quantica explains the nature of the agreement:

“As part of this cooperation, ALTANA’s Cubic Ink High Performance Materials brand will provide materials that will serve as a starter kit for users working with Quantica’s groundbreaking NovoJet OPEN printing system. The NovoJet OPEN, an open lab printer premiered by Quantica in late 2023, is capable of using new materials for inkjet application development, enabling users to work with their own materials. The purpose of the ALTANA starter kit is to offer a base material for those who lack materials and are looking for a place to start.”

That’s quite important, because a machine without materials cannot do very much.

However, the real news is that ALTANA and Quantica will be cooperating in the development of an expanded range of “higher viscosity variants”. These will almost certainly result in a huge range of 3D print applications that haven’t yet been seen on this planet.

Via Quantica

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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