ALTANA and dp polar develop Cubic Ink® 3D printing material families for industrial 3D inkjet printing applications

Parts produced with Altana's materials and dp polar's inkjet 3D printing

Specialty chemicals group ALTANA and 3D printer manufacturer dp polar are unveiling three new Cubic Ink® 3D printing material families for inkjet 3D printing applications.

For those who are not familiar with this process, note that 3D inkjet printing is a low-temperature, low-pressure process that involves the deposition of liquid materials or solid suspensions. We’ve seen the potential of this process in industrial 2D inkjet printing. The process which is natively multi-material has often been hindered by non-end-use applications. And that’s something this new collaboration between ALTANA and dp polar ambitions to address.

As a reminder, the machine manufacturer has developed a new industrial 3D printer that will scale inkjet 3D printing applications. The partnership with ALTANA focuses on delivering unprecedented heat resistance and multi-material capability.

The materials producer explains that a wide variety of materials, including engineering-grade materials with different properties and the support material can be printed in a continuous process. For operators, this means increased productivity, reduction of unit costs, and more flexibility in the industrial production of 3D printed objects.

With Cubic Ink®we are setting new standards in additive manufacturing and, for the first time, opening up to industrial users an efficient and sustainable perspective for the series production of highly resilient components,” says Dr. Petra Severit, Chief Technology Officer of ALTANA AG.
As a result, customers benefit directly from our core competence and decades of experience in the development of innovative resilient high-performance materials. After all, only with high-performance, application-specific materials can the technical potential of a disruptive technology like 3D printing be truly exploited.”

Focus on high-performance, prototyping and support materials

The three Cubic Ink® print material families enable high-performance in two main categories:

The 1-series is said to deliver excellent strength and heat resistance up to 193 °C. It can be used for applications with hot liquids such as in the engine compartment. The 4-series on the other hand, provides good balance between heat deflection temperature of 100 °C and toughness with an elongation at break of up to 6% for maximum design freedom.

For prototyping applications, engineers can choose between the “Tough/Rigid” material with very good dimensional stability for robust applications; the “Flexible” one with variable degrees of hardness, adjustable elasticity, and high sharpness of detail for flexible or stretchable component parts; or the “Clear” material for optical components – high transparency and individually adaptable due to a variable refractive index.

Ultimately, they can complement their manufacturing process with “Standard” and “Fast-dissolving” support materials. These are water-soluble, environmentally friendly, and can be removed automatically in a water bath without chemical solvents.

With Cubic Ink®ALTANA is once again expanding the range of applications for pioneering solutions in the highly innovative field of 3D printing. ALTANA AG recently expanded its portfolio of 3D printing materials by acquiring the business of TLS Technik GmbH & Co Spezialpulver KG and the British company Aluminium Materials Technologies Ltd. (AMT). In the hardware segment, ALTANA had already acquired a stake in dp polar in 2017 and has since been working closely with the technology company based in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen near Karlsruhe, a press release reminds. 

Our 3D printers of the AMpolar® machine generation are expressly designed for ALTANA’s Cubic Ink®materials and therefore allow for optimal results,” says Dr. Florian Löbermann, Managing Director of dp polar GmbH. “Combined with ALTANA’s expertise in material development, our inkjet 3D printers are currently the most productive and efficient printing solutions on the market.”

The Cubic Ink® materials are showcased in Hall 12.1, Booth E39 at formnext.

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