This past Spring, Dutch 3D printing company Ultimaker announced it was partnering with a slew of leading chemicals and materials companies to develop and adapt advanced materials for its open FFF/FDM 3D printing systems. Today, some of the first fruits of these partnerships have been revealed.
Global science company DSM and Owens Corning, a specialist in roofing, insulation and composites (especially glass fiber related), have launched 3D printing materials optimized for the Ultimaker S5 3D printer. As of November, users will be able to access material profiles for DSM’s Novamid ID1030 CF10 material (released just days ago) and Owens Corning’s XSTRAND glass fiber composite PP and PA filament through Ultimaker Cura.
“I am extremely proud to see that our global material alliance with leading material companies such as DSM and Owens Corning so quickly opened up the possibility to use very sophisticated engineering plastics on the Ultimaker S5,” said Jos Burger, Ultimaker CEO. “We were recently listed as an IDC Innovator for creating important breakthroughs that address and solve some of the challenges that end users in a number of industries have identified with. This alliance will continue to give more professionals access to high-end materials for all kinds of use cases and industries and will give each Ultimaker S5 in the field an extra upgrade.”
Support for new industrial filaments
DSM’s recently introduced Novamid ID1030 CF10 is a carbon fiber reinforced PA6/66 filament. Interestingly, the new material only contains 10% carbon fiber reinforcement (significantly less than other composites on the market), which makes it easier to 3D print with without sacrificing the benefits of printing with a composite, namely: strength and stiffness. Parts printed using the new carbon fiber filled filament are comparable to injection molded parts in terms of strength and toughness, making them suitable for functional prototypes and end-use applications.
Hugo da Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at DSM, commented: “Together with Ultimaker, we can contribute to offer a simple hassle-free solution, as their software and the Ultimaker S5 are fully aligned with our materials to create unlimited high-demanding parts.”
Owens Corning’s XTRAND filament, for its part, boasts strong mechanical and thermal properties thanks to glass fiber reinforcement. The durable material, ideal for functional prototyping and industrial applications, demonstrates a low thermal expansion coefficient, high working temperature and overall durable mechanical properties.
“We decided to partner with Ultimaker due to the high performance and reliability of Ultimaker 3D printers,” said Dr. Chris Skinner, Vice President of Composites Strategic Marketing at Owens Corning. “Teaming up with their material experts resulted in the perfect settings for our materials in Ultimaker Cura. Prototyping and the creation of production tools becomes much easier, more accurate, affordable and accessible at the same time.”
New print core for composites
In addition to the new material profiles, Ultimaker has also announced the release of a new print core CC Red 0.6 for the Ultimaker S5, which is being presented at the TCT Show in Birmingham, UK this week. The new print core, which features a 0.6 mm diameter nozzle and a wear-resistant rube cone, will reportedly make it easier to 3D print composite materials using the Ultimaker S5.
Makers interested in exploiting the benefits of the new print core CC Red 0.6 can purchase it starting November 2018.
“Ultimaker has made significant improvements this year to build out our full 3D printing suite, from hardware to software to materials, and make local digital manufacturing a reality,” the company told us. “Earlier this year, we expanded our professional 3D printer portfolio with the launch of the Ultimaker S5 – our most advanced printer yet – to deliver even more reliable results. That same month, we also announced a collaborative alliance with nearly a dozen global materials companies to meet the growing demand to enable high-level engineering plastics and composites on Ultimaker machines. Today’s announcement introduces the first materials that resulted from this alliance.”
All in all, the new print core and optimization for engineering-grade filaments show Ultimaker’s dedication to bringing FDM 3D printing into the industrial sphere. With the hardware to back it up (the S5 was developed for more robust applications), the Dutch company is certainly a leading force in the industrial FDM sector. Those eager to hear more updates from Ultimaker won’t have to wait too long, as the company says it will announce the availability of the first material profiles on Ultimaker Cura at Formnext this November. The company also hints that more composite material profiles are on the way!