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Patent-pending solution for 3D printing from 3M

3D printing complements fluoropolymer processing

(PresseBox) (Neuss, ) 3M has developed a patent-pending technology to 3D print fully fluorinated polymers. This technology allows 3D printing as an additional and differentiated way of processing fully-fluorinated polymers. In this way the fabrication of complex structures is possible, which otherwise cannot be produced or only produced with expensive traditional processing techniques. 3M is pioneering 3D printing with PTFE.

Commonly known as 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing is the key term for directly manufacturing three-dimensional physical objects layer by layer using digital information. Print-on-demand solutions for fluoropolymer based spare parts and custom parts with complex geometry are potential articles to be 3D printed. The technology is particularly exciting for the fluoropolymer PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene).

This flexible new technology, which 3M and its subsidiary Dyneon will introduce at the K show in Dusseldorf for the first time, paves the way for the production of polymer structures in a single processing step rather than moulding and assembling component parts. The development also makes it possible to 3D print spare parts and customised designs on demand without needing to use expensive traditional processing techniques. As part of the development, 3M is pioneering the 3D printing of PTFE which is used in a wide range of applications such as sealing and lining.

3D printing developing at a rapid pace.

“3D printing is developing at a rapid pace and is opening up a number of exciting developments for the processing of fully-fluorinated polymers, particularly for PTFE which is a real quantum leap,” says Paula Johnson-Mason, Global Director Fluoropolymers. “This additional new manufacturing process will give us increased flexibility and accelerate product design cycles as spare parts can be manufactured digitally without the need to create new tools”.

Better for the environment

The new technology also offers a more sustainable manufacturing solution due to potential material savings and a reduction in waste. This is achieved as the traditional method for creating prototype parts from PTFE creates significant waste. With 3D printing, however, waste is minimal and unused material can be used for subsequent printing jobs.

Please visit our booth at the K show: Hall 5, booth B10. I would be glad to welcome you there. In case you would like to make an appointment please let me know.

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