Component Management

Functional materials for liquid additive manufacturing

5th March 2020
Alex Lynn

Having further developed its liquid materials, DELO has created new possibilities for liquid additive manufacturing. The high-performance materials providing different functionalities, such as transparency or flexibility can be combined in one printing process, adhere reliably, and have isotropic strength in all printing directions. They are particularly well suited for automotive and microelectronic applications.

The liquid materials that have been optimised specifically for industrial 3D printing applications are light-curing epoxy resins. Depending on the desired properties such as flexibility, transparency, or conductivity, tailor-made materials based on a broad product portfolio can be made available.

Having a similar chemical basis, the functional high-performance materials are perfectly combinable and exhibit good adhesion to each other, which makes them ideal for material mixes. Hard and flexible materials, for example, can be used in one printing process. For this purpose, several dispensing heads are installed in the printer, applying the respective liquid materials according to defined parameters. Depending on the dispensing equipment, structures with wall thicknesses of less than 500µm are possible. For complex structures with overhangs or undercuts, users can rely on a water-soluble support material.

Since the functional materials are dispensed at room temperature, no heating of the material or installation space is required. Curing until final strength takes place within a few seconds using UV light. This simplifies the process and helps save energy.

Both the different dispensing heads and the curing lamps can be integrated into existing production lines. As a result, the printing process can also be combined with other manufacturing processes.

The properties of the cured DELO materials are comparable to those of high-performance plastics such as polyamide or PEEK. This is reflected, among other things, by the materials' high temperature and media resistances. In addition, the materials show isotropic strengths in all printing directions.

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