Thought3D, the Malta-based company behind the Magigoo 3D printer adhesive, is delving into the industrial market with the release of new specialty AM adhesive products created specifically for industrial-grade materials. Thought3D are starting to roll out the new Magigoo products—all biocide and solvent free—in Q3 2018.
As FDM 3D printing technology advances—with faster print speeds and more high performance materials—Thought3D saw a need to meet market demands. While its original Magigoo adhesive, first released in 2015, is ideal for materials such as PLA, ABS, HIPS, PETG and TPU, it isn’t particularly effective for materials which are increasingly being sought after for industrial applications and functional prototyping, such as polypropylene (PP), glass fiber reinforced polypropylene (PP-GF), polycarbonate (PC) and Nylon (PA).
To meet this demand, the Thought3D team has been working hard to adapt and upgrade the existing Magigoo formula so that it performs well even with these tougher, higher performing materials. The new adhesive formulas are made without biocides and solvents, are made from natural ingredients, and are made to be more resistant to environmental spoilers.
“Magigoo has been designed to be as safe as possible, to be used by anyone from a child to a teacher to an engineer,” explained Dr. Keith M. Azzopardi, the lead scientist behind Magigoo. “That’s why we make a commitment to keep it green and safe for our users. Natural components make up at least 3/4 of Magigoo. We have invested heavily in our R&D to be able to use water as our solvent. Its not the easiest way to go to use water as a solvent in adhesives. It definitely had its hurdles but we have come up with some clever ways to improve shelf life without using biocides.”
Like with traditional Magigoo, users simply have to apply the adhesive to their print bed before printing the first layer of a part. The formula remains sticky when heated (throughout the print) and loosens once it is cooled, enabling easy removal once the print is complete. Thought3D also emphasizes that the adhesive can be easily removed from the printed part and print bed. In terms of look, the new Magigoo Pro mixes will feature grey and orange labels to set them apart from the original Magigoo mix.
As of writing, Thought3D has announced four new industrial Magigoo products which will be released gradually. The first is Magigoo PP, specially developed for use with polypropylene filament, a material known for its low surface energies and which is notoriously difficult to adhere to a print bed. PP also has a tendency for warping because the material can begin to crystallize during the print process. With Magigoo PP, users can benefit from the positive properties of PP (affordability, chemical resistance and fatigue resistance) while reducing the risk of delamination.
The second product is Magigoo PP-GF, an alternative to Magigoo PP which is formulated specifically for glass fiber reinforced polypropylene. Next is Magigoo PC, formulated for polycarbonate, a rigid material with a higher surface energy than PP but which is still tricky to adhere to the print bed.
“While PC has a higher surface energy than PP, the former still has a high degree of aromatic character which still poses a challenge in adhesion,” said Jean Paul Formosa, lead product developer of Magigoo. “Furthermore the rigid PC backbone which results from its aromatic character make the material even stiffer and thus the adhesive would also need to compensate for the larger warping forces when this material is printed.”
Magigoo PC has been successfully tested with various brands of PC filament and on a range of 3D printer models. The industrial Magigoo product is also reportedly compatible with virgin PC materials, which are considered to be difficult to work with traditionally.
Finally, Thought3D is currently developing Magigoo PA, a mix formulated for Nylon materials. This new mixture will be available for beta testing later this year. “Dominated by the amide functional group, the system pose yet a different challenge to other plastics when it comes to adhesion,” added Formosa. “This being said there is a significant amount of variability within this class which make it difficult to come up with a general purpose solution for all nylons. Nonetheless we believe that a solution which works well with the majority of the filaments is in our reach.”
“The manufacturing industry wants to 3D print with materials it is already accustomed to. From a practical perspective the variety in materials is needed because each presents its own beneficial properties, such as the required hardness, durability to wear and tear, robustness, flexibility, temperature durability and chemical resistance. The hard part is that each of the plastics will have different traits and properties as well as would act slightly differently on each 3D printer. We do not believe in one-product-fits-all solution and thus we have created multiple new mixes to serve client needs in industry providing to end users additional convenience and freedom to print different industrial plastics on the same printer with little effort by just changing the first layer adhesive,” said Dr. Azzopardi.
Thought3D will be attending upcoming trade shows TCT Birmingham and Formnext. Clients interested in testing the new industrial adhesives can get in touch with the company directly. The original Magigoo product is presently available through various retailers, including Amazon and HobbyKing