Functional Materials for Industrial 3D Printing

Functional Materials for Industrial 3D Printing

The high-performance materials create new possibilities for liquid additive manufacturing. They provide different functionalities, such as transparency or flexibility, can be combined in one printing process, and adhere reliably. Additionally, the materials have isotropic strength in all printing directions. They are particularly well suited for automotive and microelectronic applications.

The liquid materials that have been optimized specifically for industrial 3D printing applications are light-curing epoxy resins. Depending on the desired properties such as flexibility, transparency, or conductivity, tailor-made materials based on a broad product portfolio can be made available.

Having a similar chemical basis, the functional high-performance materials are perfectly combinable and exhibit good adhesion to each other, which makes them ideal for material mixes. Hard and flexible materials, for example, can be used in one printing process. For this purpose, several dispensing heads are installed in the printer, applying the respective liquid materials according to defined parameters. Depending on the dispensing equipment, structures with wall thicknesses of less than 500 µm are possible. For complex structures with overhangs or undercuts, users can rely on a water-soluble support material.

Since the functional materials are dispensed at room temperature, no heating of the material or installation space is required. Curing until final strength takes place within a few seconds using UV light. This simplifies the process and helps save energy.

Both the different dispensing heads and the curing lamps can be integrated into existing production lines. As a result, the printing process can also be combined with other manufacturing processes.

The properties of the cured DELO materials are comparable to those of high-performance plastics such as polyamide or PEEK. This is reflected, among other things, by the materials' high temperature and media resistances. In addition, the materials show isotropic strengths in all printing directions.

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Functional DELO materials create new possibilities for liquid additive manufacturing (Figure: DELO).
Different functional materials (e.g. hard and flexible materials) can be combined in one printing process (Figure: DELO).
Housing with optical element printed from epoxy resin-based high-performance materials (Figure: DELO).