One year after the launch of Aceo Open Print Lab, WACKER Chemie AG expands its ACEO® 3D printing services for silicone rubber to the US. The US-based printing lab requires an investment of a digit million US-Dollar amount and should be opened by the end of this year. It will be located at WACKER’s R&D center for silicones in Ann Arbor (MI).
The new lab’s equipment and services
The chemical company invested in two 3D printers that will be able to work with a variety of silicone rubber with different Shore A hardnesses and in varying colors.
The print lab’s 3D printing technology for silicone elastomers enables unprecedented product designs and complex geometries for rapid prototyping purposes as well as serial manufacturing and cost-efficient production of replacement parts.
For Bernd Pachaly, head of the ACEO® 3D printing project at WACKER, the new lab at WACKER’s silicones R&D Center in Ann Arbor is a major milestone in globally expanding this trailblazing technology: “In general, North America is the largest and most dynamic market for 3D printing. With our new lab, prospective partners will obtain local access to the compelling possibilities of 3D printing with liquid silicone rubber.”
As far as services are concerned, the lab will provide technical service and advice to partners and customers throughout North America. “Right from the start, we will be engaged in projects involving medical devices and components needed for health care, transportation, aerospace and electronics, all of which are key industry segments, particularly for silicone-based products,” Pachaly explains. “Establishing a regional lab will support expansion of ACEO®’s footprint in the US and furthers WACKER’s global service network for silicone rubber 3D printing solutions.”
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