3D Printing: Elix offers new ABS grades; NatureWorks ups the ante with PLA grade to rival ABS


Spanish materials supplier Elix Polymers is offering 3D printing grades that have been optimised, with some new grades already validated at filament producers, 3D printer makers and final part manufacturers who use Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), more commonly known as FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling). This technology has a broad scope of applications, in sectors such as automotive, healthcare, aerospace, E&E, consumer products, and toys.

Elix has optimised five ABS grades for 3D printing, with improved printing performance, low warpage, dimensional precision and high resolution. The portfolio includes a general purpose grade (ABS-3D GP), a grade that fulfill food contact materials regulation no. 10/2011 and biocompatibility standards (ISO 10993-1 and USP class VI) for food contact and medical applications (ABS-3D FC), a high impact grade (ABS-3D HI), a grade with improved interlayer adhesion for complex parts (ABS-3D LA), and an ABS reinforced with natural fibres that produces a wood-like appearance when used on special 3D printers (ABS-3D NF). All grades are available in natural or precoloured in various shades.

Elix says it is already cooperating with several leading printer producers and 3D software providers to identify the right partners and create a database with validated filament producers. It is offering technical support, including recommendations on correct processing set-ups: extruder screw design, drive system and spool system. The objective is to obtain the filament with the best quality properties in typical thicknesses of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm and validate the material to meet the requirements of the final application. ELIX has defined its own demanding material tests to evaluate the final filament quality.

Meanwhile, in other news, US biopolymers maker NatureWorks has introduced a PLA, Ingeo 3D870, for filament manufacturers. It says that feedback from filament manufacturers who have trialled the product commend the ease of processing and printability.


Ingeo 3D870 is said to comply with chemical inventory listings in key markets in North America, Asia and Europe, which expands sales opportunities for filament manufacturers. Parts produced with the formulation are said to exceed ABS 3D parts in impact strength and, with post-print annealing, and says it rivals ABS heat resistance.

Though NatureWorks offers a general purpose PLA, it says the 3D850 and 3D870 have been designed specifically for 3D printing. Building on reliable, easy printability, these two grades offer good UV colour lightfastness, low yellow index, and can be crystallised to realize additional heat and impact properties.

3D870 specifically was designed for impact strength that is required in industrial applications.


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