Specialty chemicals company Solvay is continually developing and bringing to market new polymer materials for the additive manufacturing industry. Its business doesn’t solely rely on launching new spools of filament and AM powders, however, as the company announced it has expanded its high-performance polymers for 3D printing simulation.
Through a collaboration with software and engineering services company e-Xstream engineering, Solvay has added a range of its high-performance polymers to the latest release of e-Xstream’s Digitmat-AM software. The newly added polymers include 10% carbon fiber-filled KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU). The two materials join Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK filament, which was already offered through the simulation solutions.
“Our growing range of AM filaments underscores Solvay’s determination to establish itself as an industry leader in this rapidly evolving market,” commented Christophe Schramm, additive manufacturing business manager at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “Digimat-AM allows customers to simulate the printing process and successfully predict the thermomechanical behaviour of 3D printed designs in order to ‘print right the first time.’”
Using e-Xstream’s AM simulation software, it will now be easier for users to predict the success of a part using Solvay’s specific material before it is printed (and before any material is used). This will reduce the risk of failed prints, saving both time and material costs.
The materials will be part of Digitmat-AM Advanced Solver, a software tool that provides highly accurate predictive modeling data for the integrated filaments. Notably, it provides information covering a range of critical characteristics, including warpage and residual stress. The software platform also enables design validation for more rigorous applications by predicting the printed part’s performance (including stiffness, strength and other properties) based on the material’s properties and print settings.
“With the addition of Solvay’s new AM grades, we now have a wider portfolio of 3D printing grades in Digimat to provide cutting-edge new materials to push the design and application boundaries in this dynamic market,” added Roger Assaker, CEO of e-Xstream engineering and Chief Material Strategist for MSC Software. “As a result of our partnership, we bridge the gap in simulation engineering between high-performance polymers and demanding printing processes such as Fused Filament Fabrication.”
In addition to Solvay’s three materials, the Digimat-AM simulation software also supports four of DSM’s high-performance polymers: Novamid ID 1030, Novamid ID 1030 CF10, Novamic ID 1070 and Arnite ID 3040.