Victrex has developed new PAEK materials that have been optimized for additive manufacturing, including filament fusion (FF) and laser sintering (LS). These new VICTREX™ PAEK polymer solutions have been developed as filaments and fine powder respectively. They will be commercialised over the coming months, and are currently available for beta testing in select projects.
In laser sintering, the new polymer grades have shown encouragingly low refresh rates, improving the recycle of unsintered powder, while maintaining good mechanical properties. In fusion filament fabrication they have improved mechanical properties and printability.
Successfully printing parts requires an eco-system of solutions including the right materials, a capable machine, design, and additive manufacturing process know-how. We are working to establish a more complete set of solutions for 3D printing of PAEK components and parts. We would like to hear about the parts that you need to make, and explore how we might help you with our current or future 3DP capabilities.
We are working with industry leaders to create new solutions for additive manufacturing of PAEK. For example, we are currently collaborating with the University of Exeter on R&D in pursuit of the full potential of high-performance additive manufacturing polymers. We are also collaborating with machine makers and customers to accelerate our collective progress.
Victrex is collaborating with a range of machine technologies, industry leaders, and customers to pioneer new solutions for additive manufacturing of PAEK.
Recently, in 2019, we’ve announced our investment and collaboration with Bond 3D to industrialize a differentiated melt extrusion process suitable for PAEK printing. In 2018, Victrex began our research collaboration with the University of Exeter, and announced new progress toward AM optimized materials. In 2017, Victrex acquired Zyex filament manufacturing and commissioned our Polymer Innovation Center, enabling new PAEK materials for additive manufacturing.
From 2016-2018, Victrex led a consortium of companies and institutions and was awarded funding from the UK's agency for innovation, Innovate UK, to carry out intensive pioneering research and development to advance additive manufacturing technologies. Other members of that consortium included Airbus Group Innovations, EOS, and the University of Exeter Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM).
Major improvements demonstrated for filament fusion (FF) and laser sintering (LS), with VICTREX™ PAEK polymer solutions supplied as filaments and fine powder respectivelyRead more
3D printing collaboration to focus on R&D in the pioneering pursuit of the full potential of high-performance polymers in additive manufacturing (AM)Read more
Advancing Additive Manufacturing processing technology for existing grades of high-performance VICTREX PAEK and PEEK-OPTIMA™ polymerRead More
New PAEK polymers optimized for additive manufacturing will be available in filament form.Read more
“Polymer Innovation Centre” operational for pilot-plant scale manufacturing of new PAEK polymers for AM.Read more
Typically 1.75 or 2.85 mm filament is fed into a print head within a heated chamber that melts and deposits the polymer on the print surface. Build rates are often between 5-40 grams/hour1 in machines typically costing <$500k, where the most significant challenges have been z-axis strength, inter-layer adhesion, consistent crystallinity, and dimensional stability during printing. Victrex has developmental improved filaments for evaluation to address these challenges, subject to availability and NDA sample terms.
Ref: 1. Victrex internal observations
Heated fine powders are selectively struck by laser to locally heat the polymer past its melt temperature to form the part. Compared with filament fusion, there are currently fewer machine options for PAEK. Typical build rates can be up to 10x FF, depending on bed utilization, but machines are also more expensive. Victrex research has made progress in improving our polymers for laser sintering, decreasing required refresh rates (increasing the recycle of unused powder) and mechanical properties.