3D Printing

Zortrax is launching new products

9th December 2022
Beth Floyd

Zortrax is launching new products working with Zortrax Endureal industrial 3D printer: two com-prehensive sets dedicated to metal 3D printing, Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH and Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L, as well as a low-melt VICTREX PAEK AM 200 (a filament, which has a lower melting point than PEEK and can be extruded in lower temperatures).

Each Zortrax Full Metal Package contains all the essentials for an easy start with metal 3D printing and includes either BASF Ultrafuse 316L or BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH – metal-polymer filaments from our partner, BASF Forward AM. VICTREX AM 200 low-melt PAEK filament is a high-performance polymer from the same thermoplastics family as Z-PEEK, which offers similar, or in some areas, even better 3D printing results. 

Metal 3D printing technology developed by BASF Forward AM is an efficient manufacturing method, which involves using metal-polymer filaments to produce industrial-grade, stainless steel components. Compared to traditional production technologies, such as CNC machining or Metal Injection Molding, metal 3D printing ensures more flexibility of design, and most importantly, is much more affordable. While 3D printing with metallic powder filaments, however, it is vital to use a quality, reliable 3D printer, capable of processing them properly. It is also crucial to take care of proper post-processing. Considering this, Zortrax specialists have created unique metal packages, which encompass it all!

“When using metallic powder filaments for metal 3D printing, micro-cracks or brittle spots on the models are the common issues users struggle with. The reason is usually the improper inner structure, which prevents the target items from preserving all the properties desired for metal. Being aware of that, we focused on creating the solution, ensuring that models have the right structure, allowing them to be applied just like regular steel. We succeeded, as it is obtained on Zortrax Endureal during the very printing process. Moreover, our new Zortrax Full Metal Packages come together with, amongst other elements, high quality metal-polymer filaments by BASF Forward AM, and a voucher for professional post-processing in Elnik Systems GmbH, where the 3D prints undergo proprietary catalytic debinding and sintering processes,said Michał Siemaszko, Head of Research and Development Department at Zortrax.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L includes BASF Ultrafuse 316L, a filament composed of 80% 316L stainless steel and 20% polymer. 316L is a surgical-grade stainless steel, containing over 10% of chromium. This chemical element, while in contact with oxygen, causes a thin coating layer to form on the surface of the model, protecting it from corrosion. The parts 3D printed with BASF Ultrafuse 316L have up to 561 MPa tensile strength, 251 MPa yield strength, up to 53% elongation at break, and have non-magnetic microstructure. All these features make this metal-polymer filament perfect for 3D printing complex end-use parts, automotive parts, medical equipment, chemical pipes or valves, elements of tools and fixtures as well as various functional prototypes.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH contains BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH, an industrial composite filament, comprising 80% of 17-4 hardened steel and 20% of polymer content. Models, 3D printed with this filament, are characterized by up to 1004 MPa tensile strength, 764 MPa yield strength, up to 4% elongation at break, and have magnetic microstructure. BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH can be successfully used for all the elements, requiring significant hardness, chemical pipes or valves, strong metal end-use parts, medical equipment, automotive parts, elements of tools and fixtures, and functional prototypes.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L and Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH, apart from a top-quality metal filament, both include all the other components, vital to seamless metal 3D printing experience. In each package, the users will find: BASF Ultrafuse Support Layer, a dedicated support material, ensuring the desired geometry of the printed parts during the 3D printing and post-processing stages, Magigoo Pro Metal adhesive to provide reliable adhesion during printing and the easy removal of the printed part, an extra hotend module with brass nozzles for Zortrax Endureal, and a voucher for professional post-processing in Elnik company (BASF’s trusted partner in Germany), where 3D prints undergo crucial sintering and debinding processes to achieve all the properties of steel.

Another novelty, introduced for Zortrax Endureal, is VICTREX AM 200 low-melt PAEK filament, a high-performance polymerthat belongs to the same thermoplastics’ family as Z-PEEK. The most important features of VICTREX AM 200 FIL include low viscosity, assuring easier flow through the nozzle, slow crystallisation rate facilitating strong interlayer bonding that improves tensile strength along the Z-axis, high dimensional stability, and minimized warpage.

“VICTREX AM200 has greater strength in the Z-axis than PEEK, and comparable strength in the X and Y axes. All the other parametres are similar to those of PEEK. PAEK, however, is much easier to print. This high-performance polymer is a great choice for 3D printing heavy duty parts that can replace metal components in aviation, marine, advanced engineering, or oil industries. PAEK can also be successfully used when 3D printing load bearing components, elements of tools, structural frames, or parts that must withstand high temperatures,” underlined Dawid Piastowski, Materials Development Leader at Zortrax.

VICTREX AM 200 FIL is a perfect fit every time, when the manufactured models require chemical resistance, significant mechanical strength as well as a capability to 3D print with soluble support, and to withstand extreme temperatures. The polymer combines all the advantages of PEEK and adds such benefits as higher strength values, especially in the Z-axis, less shrink and warpage and soluble support compatibility. Moreover, it features a wider process window, thanks to which outcomes and design freedom will often be improved while working with PAEK.

I’ve enjoyed seeing what the Zortrax Endureal 3D printer can do with an easier printing PEEK-based polymer like VICTREX AM™ 200, especially when combined with soluble supports. Overhang surfaces that are often a problem area in filament fusion have looked great, the Z-direction properties seem competitive, and some of the small precision samples Zortrax has made on the machine impressed me,”summarised Robert McKay, Victrex Head of Additive Manufacturing Business Development.

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