Germany-based specialty chemicals company Evonik has announced the opening of a new 3D printing technology center in Austin, Texas. The facility will be dedicated to developing new materials for powder bed fusion using its Structured Polymers technology.
The opening of the new site, called the Center for Structured Polymers Technology, follows Evonik’s acquisition of Structured Polymers Inc. last year. The company, a young U.S. startup focused on 3D printing materials, had previously received investments from Evonik. Through the acquisition, Evonik has gained access to the startup’s patented technology for developing specialty polymer powders for additive manufacturing.
The new AM materials site in Austin houses an application technology laboratory with 3D printers and a processing area; a research and development laboratory; production room; as well as office and meeting areas. The new building also features modern air extraction systems and meets the highest safety standards and workplace ergonomic standards.
“The new Technology Center continues the success story of Structured Polymers under the umbrella of Evonik,” commented Thomas Große-Puppendahl, Head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik. “We have now created the necessary framework to establish this advanced technology for the production of 3D printable polymer powders on the market.”
“By expanding our capabilities in North America, we are sending an important signal to our partners in the region that we can now better support them with new technological opportunities in materials development right in their own backyard,” added Vikram Devarajan, the managing director of the 3D Printing Technology Center in Austin, Texas.
Structured Polymers’ technology processes polymer granulate materials into fine, high-quality powders suitable for laser bed fusion 3D printing. The process is capable of producing powders with controlled particle sizes with a diameter range of 0.1 – 400 μm and imparts good material properties. Evonik and Structured Polymers already released the first ready-to-use powder materials late last year: two thermoplastic elastomers based on copolyesters for powder-based AM. With the opening of the new materials development facility, we can expect to see more new polymer AM powders being brought to market.