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3D printing New

3D printing New tailor-made PLA/PHA compounds for 3D printing German bioplastics specialist FKuR Kunststoff and Helian Polymers, a leading Netherlands-based provider of 3D printing filaments, marketed under the ColorFabb brand name, recently started to collaborate on the development of novel PLA/PHA blends for 3D printing. Customers know about FKuR’s outstanding expertise in modifying and compounding PLA and PHA. So it is no surprise that the company from Willich, Germany, recently started to expand their range of bioplastics compounds into special grades for 3D printing. PLA compounds are particularly suitable for the FDM process (Fused Deposition Modeling), as they offer a timely solidification and low processing temperatures. Furthermore, the low processing temperature results in easier control of the printer and simplifies the regulation of the printing process. With a printing accuracy that is far superior to that of conventional ABS, still a major material used today, PLA also offers cleaner processing conditions and unlike ABS, PLA emits no potentially hazardous styrene vapours during processing. The inherent brittleness of unmodified PLA, however, together with its low impact strength not only pose a challenge during processing, they also impact adversely the quality of the finished product. FKuR in close cooperation with Helian is now developing new generations of PLA/PHA based filament formulations that provide improved processing properties combined with an optimized material quality. “One important goal is to ensure productivity and production reliability when extruding the filament,” explains Julian Schmeling, Applications Technology and 3D print expert at FKuR, “the other is to improve the process reliability when 3D printing with the filament.” The newly developed PLA/PHA compounds meet these targets for example by exhibiting an improved melt strength and elasticity. For the 3D printing process it is essential that the filament delivered on a reel is endless without any breaks. “Nothing is more annoying, than finding your 3D print process interrupted due to a broken filament,” says Edmund Dolfen, FKuR’s CEO and passionate 3D printer himself, “unless you want to stand next to your machine and keep a watch on your 10 hour print process”. In addition, Helian Polymers have optimized their four filament production lines to the highest technical standards and guarantee extremely narrow tolerances, a central criterion for reliable 3D printing. And among other significantly improved features the shrinkage and the propensity to warp are also significantly reduced. With their unique and comprehensive product portfolio, both development partners will steadily expand the applications and markets for PLA in 3D printing. Helian’s Colorfabb filaments were initially launched in 2013, and are now available in a wide variety of colours. Based on FKuR’s decades of experience in compounding natural fibre (mainly wood) filled materials (e. g. under their own brand Fibrolon ® ), the range of 3D print products was recently extended to include new design materials reinforced with natural fibres. The woodFill material consists of a PLA/PHA blend and wood fibres, bambooFill is reinforced with bamboo fibres, both grades optimized in fibre size and content. Products printed with these novel filament grades are characterized by a unique wood-like appearance and distinctive feel. Compared with conventional wood, there are virtually no limits to design freedom, opening new creative options to all users, both professional and private. The latest new developments include bronzeFill and copperFill, two grades consisting of PLA/PHA blends filled with fine metal powder. MT 20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/14] Vol. 9

Cover-Story C loning a hand-carved hand-puppet From a series of about 40 photographs ... Autodesk 123D catch generates a CAD-file... The undefined neck is cut off in Netfabb... And a new neck, consisting of cylinders and a conical bore is added in Autodesk 123D Design Now the head can be 3D-printed from FKuR/Helian woodFill PLA material with wood fibre filling. Miss Schniedermeyer on stage bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/14] Vol. 9 21

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