Filtration innovation – an enabler for new 3D printable functional materials
From toucan beaks and F1 steering wheels to bespoke medical devices and ultra-comfy bicycle seats, the world of 3D print is rapidly evolving and driving demand for a new generation of functional materials.
These materials possess precise physical properties, such as strength, fire retardation, flexibility, and scratch-resistance, that meet specific product specifications. Many also require high temperature 3D environments for processing, which, according to research by portable filtration specialists BOFA International, increases the potential for off-gassing, which can be toxic and smelly, and particulate emissions.
BOFA is working with 3D print equipment manufacturers, materials providers, and end users to develop technology that filters fume from these new materials and helps maintain both optimal chamber operating conditions and a safe working environment.
The result is the company’s 3D PrintPRO HT, currently in development, which uses advanced electronics components, thermal insulation, and innovative air management to help deliver high levels of filtration performance while maintaining the desired operating temperatures through active convection.
At the same time, BOFA has re-designed its 3D PrintPRO 4 system to include more advanced multi-stage gas filtration, including a deeper carbon bed to filter a greater volume of fume. This helps extend filter life and helps create safer, odourless print operations.
Haydn Knight, Sales, and Marketing Director at BOFA, said: “These latest innovations from BOFA enable equipment manufacturers to meet growing market demand for technology capable of working new generation functional materials. Effective filtration and temperature control are increasingly important to 3D print processes, so systems such as our 3D PrintPRO HT have a vital role to play in enabling an agile additive manufacturing environment.”
BOFA will be exhibiting the 3D Print PRO 4 and 3D PrintPRO HT, along with its full range of additive manufacturing filtration systems, at Formnext 2022 in Frankfurt, from November 15-18, on stand 12.0-E18.