Wacker Chemie shuts down ACEO silicone 3D printing service

“It’s a “See you again” not a “Good Bye”.”

This upcoming end of the year is a good reminder of all the experiences we went through throughout the past twelve months. It is also a period that marks the end of a chapter for others. In the list of those who have just closed a chapter in their AM journey, there is Wacker Chemie, international chemical company known for its silicone 3D printing service: ACEO® Printing Service. Requests were accepted until December 10th.

Wacker Chemie opened its lab in 2017 when silicone 3D printing was mostly considered for research purpose. Over time, this 3D printing process has convinced more than one industry and has even helped certain companies in their field to make it its core business.

While an exclusive feature on the topic (pp 6-10) clarified the uncertainties regarding Silicone 3D Printing, we have to admit that the few experts in the field rarely demonstrate what their technology can do and all the potential behind this niche process.

How can we explain this lack of communication?  As we are tempted to believe that ACEO® Printing Service did not play the right cards here – by effectively communicating on the topic with the trade press, the reason given by the company is that the new achieved possibilities are still unreached and unlimited.

As for most new inventions, it takes more time for the market to develop as we have initially expected. This led us to the decision, that we will discontinue our ACEO®  Printing Service by end of the year 2021”, the team explains on the company’s website.

It’s a pity to see players developing a niche technology, with such a good product terminate their activities. We can only hope that other players in the field –  German RepRap, Spectroplast or Arburg to name a few –  will do better.

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