Creavis, the strategic innovation unit of the specialty chemicals company Evonik, and Voxeljet AG, based in Friedberg, Bavaria, Germany, have entered into a collaboration to develop material systems for the next generation of the binder-jetting method in 3D printing.
Binder-jetting involves a powder being applied in layers and being bonded with a binding agent that is printed on precisely by an inkjet print head in accordance with the particular part. Thanks to the use of large-scale and rapid inkjet technology and printing at room temperature, this method is currently the most productive and most scalable method for 3D printing.
The method has been used with great success for several years in mold-making, for example in the printing of sand casting molds and cores. However, the previously available material systems for producing industrial final parts are mostly not suitable in terms of their mechanical properties.
“Voxeljet is one of the leading manufacturers of large-scale high-speed printers for mold-making,” said Prof. Stefan Buchholz, executive director of Evonik Creavis GmbH. “We have made it our goal to work with Voxeljet to develop new powder-binder systems that will for the first time enable this method to be used to manufacture polymer parts for industrial use.”
Evonik’s many years of experience with polymer powders for various 3D printing technologies and binders fine-tuned to suit the method form the basis of the development of these innovative material systems.
“In Evonik we have found an outstanding collaboration partner that will provide us with tailored material systems for our efficient printing technology. With this research collaboration, we aim to fulfill our aspirations of entering into the safe and robust additive manufacturing of stable polymer final parts in series production,” said Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO of Voxeljet.
The development work for powder-binder systems are part of the Evonik Additive Manufacturing innovation growth field, in which the group is pooling its 3D printing expertise.
“Our strategic focus is on the development and manufacture of “ready-to-use” high-performance materials across the major branches of technology,” said Thomas Große-Puppendahl, who runs this innovation growth field at Evonik. “Our close collaboration with our customers and partners is what enables us to forge ahead with innovation.”
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