American filament manufacturer 3D Printlife is preparing to launch two new 3D printing materials at the upcoming RAPID industry show in Detroit: FibreTuff PAPC Bone Replacement Filament and PEEK.
FibreTuff PAPC Bone Replacement Filament
FibreTuff PAPC Bone Replacement filament is a biocompatible, non-toxic material made from polyamide polyolefin and cellulose that can be used to 3D print bone-like anatomical orthopedic models based on patient-specific anatomies. The printed models can be used by doctors for a range of medical uses, including pre-surgical planning, assessment and simulation as well as training.
The filament has a number of properties which make it suitable for medical applications. For one, it is made from FDA compliant biomaterials and has already passed NAMSA Class I testing for cytotoxicity and skin irritation, as well as USP Class VI testing for Class II 3D printed medical devices and implants. Eventually, it will undergo testing for Class III devices.
The PAPC material can be printed at 230℃ and is thus compatible with most desktop FDM systems. The material is also radiopaque so it can be clearly visualized in X-Ray and MRI imaging and PAPC parts can be subjected to standard sterilization methods for Autoclave and Gamma irradiation.
The bone replacement filament is also characterized by adhesive properties that enable the support of advanced printing technology for electronic circuits. In other words, it is possible to integrate or embed 3D printed circuits into PAPC parts to enable temperature, pressure and motion monitoring, as well as other factors that might be useful to medical professionals.
Lastly, parts printed from the new FibreTuff PAPC Bone Replacement filament can be laser cut or machined post-printing without the annealing process. In addition to the medical sector, the filament could have applications in the industrial, commercial and aerospace sectors.
The second filament to be released next week at the RAPID + TCT show in Detroit by 3D Printlife is Polyether ether ketone, better known as PEEK. The material release brings the U.S.-based filament manufacturer into the growing PEEK filament industry.
PEEK is becoming increasingly sought after in the additive manufacturing industry for its excellent mechanical properties as well as chemical and temperature resistance. 3D Printlife’s filament is manufactured in a clean room at its medical-grade extrusion facility outside of Boston, MA. The production process is also closely supervised by 3D Printlife experts so that the resulting filament boasts a dimensional accuracy superior to +/- 0.03 mm.
The PEEK filament will become available to buy on May 21, 2019 via 3D Printlife’s online store. The company says it will offer custom weights of the material starting at 100 g for introductory testing. At RAPID, 3D Printlife will also be offering free PEEK samples to attendees.
3D Printlife also aims to expand its engineering filament line later this year with the release of Ultem 1010. Other materials, such as graphene and glass-filled polypropylene are also in the works.