UPM and Carbodeon are developing cellulose and nanodiamond reinforced raw materials for 3D printing. The nanodiamond additives provide the product not only improved stiffness and strength but also higher heat deflection temperature. The product novelties will be available both for Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) and for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF).
“By joining our forces we are able to combine the excellent mechanical properties and printing speed of nanodiamond enhanced 3D printing products to UPM cellulose based 3D printing raw materials,” says Vesa Myllymäki, CEO, Carbodeon.
The printing speed is significantly enhanced due to compound tailored thermal and flow properties. Fine cellulose fibers, in turn, brings self-supporting melt flow, enabling objects with round or other complex shapes to be printed without warpage problems.
Another benefit of cellulose biocomposite is its wood like post-processing. Prints not only have pleasant matte surface touch and feel but 3D prints can be finalized by standard wood processing methods.
“Our aim is to bring sustainable biocomposite alternative to the field of technical polymers with short fiber filling. UPM Formi raw material grades are 100% recyclable and available with FSC® and PEFC(TM) certification,” says Eve Saarikoski, Application Manager, UPM Biocomposites. “By combining nanodiamond and cellulose fiber technologies together we can have natural fiber composite that has higher melt flow than of standard plastics,” Saarikoski continues.
The combination of technologies opens new possibilities for tailoring the properties for 3D filaments and large scale granular based additive manufacturing. 3D materials market is estimated to be ~$5 billion by 2020.
The first joint UPM-Carbodeon 3D products will be PLA (polylactic acid) based, with possible further developments on other thermoplastic materials. “Product development partnerships with innovative companies like UPM are a key part of Carbodeon’s global growth strategy,” says Dr. Myllymäki.
The developed, co-branded PLA compound granule and filament products will be available both from UPM and Carbodeon.