Nexa3D and Henkel develop new photo-elastic material for polymer 3D printing

The partners Nexa3D & Henkel have announced the availability of a new photo-elastic material for polymer 3D printing: the xFLEX 475. The soft rubber material has been designed to be used with Nexa3D’ resin 3D printers in mind.

As a reminder, early at the beginning of the year, both companies had expanded their partnership to bring AM to mass production. As part of this partnership, Henkel brings its expertise in materials science while Nexa3D brings its expertise in resin-based 3D printing processes. The expansion of their partnership first saw the release of three photopolymer materials for Nexa3D’ 3D printers.

The release of this new material follows the recent launch of the 3D printer manufacturer’s post-processing machine. It can achieve AM applications in the industrial and consumer products industries, applications that require resilience, snap back and tear resistance.

Those applications include for instance, pipes and manifolds, handles, and grips, seals, and gaskets or sportswear and footwear midsoles. This material also boasts an impressive up to 150 per cent elongation at failure and an excellent energy return of up to 50 per cent.

Productivity and performance for volume production applications can only be maximized when manufacturers have access to both ultrafast 3D printer technology and advanced polymers,” explained Kevin McAlea, Chief Operating Officer at Nexa3D. “Historically, during prototyping, manufacturers could 3D print aesthetically pleasing models, but they were not durable. On the other hand, they could create functional parts that did not match the aesthetic requirements of production parts. We don’t believe manufacturers should have to compromise any longer. Our close partnership with Henkel allows us to expand our suite of functional photoplastic and photoelastic materials, so customers can produce functional prototypes and volume production parts that have both an attractive surface finish and the durability they require.

No other manufacturing process offers as many possibilities for greater design agility, supply chain resiliency and ultrafast implementation at every phase of the product lifecycle. Combining Nexa3D’s productivity with Henkel’s rapidly expanding suite of functional polymers, makes it possible for customers to manufacture a wider range of parts.

Available both in black and white, the new xFLEX 475 material is immediately available through Nexa3D’s growing network of resellers.

Henkel’s portfolio of photoplastic and photoelastic materials are tailored to the high throughput of the NXE 400 ultrafast 3D printer, allowing design and manufacturing engineers to achieve the best results with both rapid prototyping and mass production,” explained Simon Mawson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of 3D Printing at Henkel. “We plan to further strengthen our collaboration with the Nexa3D team and quickly expand our materials portfolio to help make rapid prototyping and mass production of functional parts more accessible.”

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