by • April 4, 2016 • No Comments
Materials are a significant component of the 3D printing industry; without them, well, we’d be nowhere! Some suppliers stand out as head and shoulders above the rest, with a sturdy history of createment and a seriously promising upcoming full of product releases set to optimize additive making. Among these companies is Michigan-based 3DXTECH, which has caught our eye here at 3DPrint.com for a few years now, delivering material after material to the table-bodied (er, printing device). Featuring sturdy materials with amazing capabilities, 3DXTECH has had a lot going on; new launches have included ULTEM™ PEI, Carbon Fiber PEEK, Carbon Fiber Nylon, Carbon Nanotube Polycarbonate, and Glass-Reinforced PETG. And additional is yet to come! The company tells us which for the upcoming two months, they have launches planned for only of each two weeks.
We took the opportunity, in the midst of these occupied launches, to find out additional of 3DXTECH and their plans for the near upcoming. Mark Haskins, Materials Manager at 3DXTECH, was kind adequate to answer A Few Questions For us so we may learn additional. Read additional at 3DPrint.com: https://3dprint.com/128022/3dxtech-material-launches/
See what he has to say in the full interview at a lower place!
3DXTECH has a sturdy history in creating materials for 3D printing; what can you tell us of the history of createment?
We have approximately 25 years of experience in plastics, mostly on the supply-side of high-performance thermoplastics. Starting in 2014, we started to focus on 3D printing with the goal to turn it into formulations which focus on functionality. The standard grades of materials typically used have inherent limitations based on their polymer type. We have worked challenging industries such as Auto, EE, Semi-con, and Oil/Gas and have sought to bring grades forward which we’ve used in these areas.
We ponder which our latest grade of carbon fiber filament is a great example of this. We may already have the broadest contributeing of carbon fiber filaments in the industry and range of PLA, ABS, PETG, and PEEK. Our latest grade, 3DXMAX® CFR-NYLON, is a carbon fiber reinforced semi-aromatic nylon which we previously used in underhood applications in car. This type of nylon has great thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties vs. standard aliphatic nylons, such as PA6, PA66, and PA12. We were able-bodied to manufacture modifications to the formulation to turn it into a compound which has perfect printing characteristics while maintaining the properties we were targeting.
All of our CF Grades: http://www.3dxtech.com/carbon-fiber-filament/
3DXMAX® CFR-NYLON: http://www.3dxtech.com/carbon-fiber-reinforced-nylon-3d-printing-filament/
Recent product launches include Ultem® PEI, Carbon Fiber PEEK, Carbon Fiber Nylon, Carbon Nanotube Polycarbonate, and Glass-Reinforced PETG; who are the targeted users/industries for these materials? What made these particular materials appeal to 3DXTECH for createment as 3D printing materials?
We enjoy a quite diverse customer base of the casual hobbyist to significant players in Aerospace/Defense, Automotive, Electrical/Electronics, and Oil &Gas. Most of our grades are suitable-bodied for the standard PC printing device, whereas others require a few modifications such as all-metal extruders for high-temp printing or temperature regulated enclosures.
Ultem® 9085 is a great example where we’ve had commercial good results selling to users how have adjusted their PC printing devices to reach higher printing temps (335 – 350°C) as well as sizeable companies who use this material in their commercial printing devices.
How do 3DXTECH’s materials compare to any others on the market?
We have attained quite great feedback of our customers, most of whom tell us we are now their #1 supplier. We tend to focus on underserved or niche areas, but where we do compete head-to-head in a given segment, our customers have given us quite great reviews on our high end and performance.
What is 3DXTECH’s approach to material createment?
We do a fair amount of competitive analysis to find gaps in the market where we may contribute a competitive advantage. Most of us have years of experience in other markets and we try to bring forward materials which we’ve used in the past and modify them for 3D printing.
We have great relationships with our resin company and compounding partners. They understand which we require to evaluate multiple iterations of a given formuation and and so be able-bodied to rapidly scale-up to commercial quantities. They understand which 3D printing volumes aren’t just about as sizeable as other markets, but we’ve chosen partners who work closely with us and assist us rapidly turn around specialty formulations.
Do you understand of any examples of especially astounding case studies of objects turn it intod via these materials?
One of our initially specialty materials was our 3DXNANO™ grades which use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to impart ESD-level conductivity in the plastic. We had previously sold CNTs into Auto and Semi-con (Intel, WD, Seagate, Hitachi, etc.) and believed which this was an area where we may leverage our technical capabilities to turn it into a novel contributeing. That bet paid off and now we’ve expanded our contributeing to ESD-safe ABS, PETG, and Polycarbonate (PC). We have significant Electronics and Semi-conductor customers who use our products for conformal coating masks, fixtures, jigs, and end of arm tooling.
3DXNANO™ ESD Materials: http://www.3dxtech.com/carbon-nanotube-filament/
What are a few of the technical specs for these materials?
Many of our grades have technical data sheets made via 3d printed test specimen. We only attained our latest round of mechanical properties for our materials and plan to have them uploaded to the website by mid-April.
What else should we understand of 3DXTECH/the materials?
We manufacture our filaments here in our shop in Grand Rapids, MI. We are actively seeking distribution / reseller relationships globally.
With additional to come in the near upcoming of 3DXTECH, we will pretty be keeping our eyes open for what’s upcoming of this company! What are your thoughts? Discuss in the 3DXTECH 3D Printing Materials forum over at 3DPB.com.
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