As a developer and manufacturers of some of the largest 3D printers on the market, German-based company BigRep requires high quality materials in order to 3D print high quality parts. With their two 3D printing systems, the BigRep ONE and the BigRep STUDIO, quickly gaining traction in the market as users come to understand the vast capabilities of them, BigRep has turned to the development of their materials. One step they have taken is strategically partnering up with BASF to create new, high quality materials for their 3D printers.
Just last week, the newly founded partnership released the first flexible 3D printing material for 3D printing systems that feature Fused-Filament Fabrication (FFF) printing technology. The ProFlex filament is TPU-based and contains engineering grade properties, and it can be used for a wide variety of applications. Although some experience with extruding flexible materials is required, this new filament is a groundbreaking innovation in regards to 3D printing capabilities.
Designed for use on the BigRep ONE 3D printer, the ProFlex filament has been developed and tested by additive manufacturing experts. According to 3DPrint.com, “The company analyzed the behavior of elastomers in its 3D printers’ extruders, and adapted the material evaluation procedure until it had developed the final thermoplastic elastomer material.” Some of the material’s dynamic properties, amongst others, include:
- Shore 98 A on the Shore Hardness scale
- low temperature impact resistance
- excellent damping behavior
- high temperature resistance
“Printing elastomers is clearly one of the biggest challenges in the FFF AM industry, so we are proud to have found an industrial grade solution,” said BigRep’s CTO Moshe Aknin. “In terms of applications with PRO FLEX, we see high potential for 3D printing in fields like footwear, custom vibration dampers, and seals, due to its high chemical resistance.”
Aknin would go on to describe his excitement for the material capabilities of ProFlex as BigRep now has the ability to manufacture parts previously impossible to produce. In addition to this, ProFlex has opened the door for many more applications in the 3D printing industry as well. According to 3DPrint.com, “the filament could help in prototyping ski tips and ends, skateboard wheels, and sporting shoe shells. Pro Flex could also be used to prototype parts like door handles, cable sheathing, and gear knobs for the automotive industry.”
Those interested in ProFlex, BigRep 3D printers and other materials available for their systems can visit NeoMetrix website. ProFlex customers will receive a guidance document, and customer service technicians are also available when necessary.
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Original Source: http://3dprint.com/209363/pro-flex-recycle-plastic-feedstock/