3D Printing

Full speed ahead into 3D printing

3 d printing detail shot
Additive Manufacturing Becomes 30 Times Faster

Performance and Productivity in 3D Printing

Large-format parts, high volumes, maximum productivity - 3D printing with granules opens up new application areas for additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing technology is advancing rapidly. 3D printing is becoming a well-established manufacturing process in a growing number of industry sectors. Directly processing thermoplastic pellets using screw extrusion for a layer-by-layer deposition in additive manufacturing makes high production speeds and large parts possible.

Image dimensions not found

Change image or reupload it

3D printing for series production

Direct Extrusion processes known as SEAM (Screw extrusion additive manufacturing) and FGF (Fused Granulate Fabrication) favour reinforced and optimized materials. Printing with highly reinforced materials is standard in this technology. Compounds with 40 % carbon fibre reinforcement or 60 % glass fibre reinforcement can be processed in additive manufacturing using an extruder. That way also semi-crystalline materials such as polyamides or polyesters can be processed with a high dimensional stability. Filaments are usually limited to a filler content less than 20 %.

Printing with standard granules is cost-effective. The complex production of precise filaments is typically 10-30 times more expensive than the process with plastic granules described above. Compared to powders used in the SLS process, the factor is even higher. Compared to injection molding, the cost of a mold is saved, which is particularly advantageous for smaller series. SEAM is also a sustainable process in terms of CO2 emissions. The higher fiber content results in higher strengths and thus lower component thicknesses, potentially saving material.

Show more

Image dimensions not found

Change image or reupload it

Corona Shield for VW

AKRO-PLASTIC's ICF-Compounds combine high strength and low density with high production speeds for additive manufacturing. For example, AKROMID® B3 ICF 30 AM (7451) is used in series production of a 3D printed carrier of a hygiene shield manufactured by Faurecia and Yizumi Germany, which separates the driver area from the passengers in the fleet of the ride pooling company MOIA. Large production aids like jigs, fixtures or entire handling systems with weights easily exceeding 100 kg are made possibly with AKROMID® B3 ICF 40 AM black (8236) profiting from its high dimensional stability and mechanical properties.

Image dimensions not found

Change image or reupload it

Granulat ICF Compound

The processing of highly reinforced plastic compounds opens up new possibilities in additive manufacturing and is a core competence of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH in Niederzissen. The carbon fibre reinforced AKROMID® B3 ICF 30 9 AM (7451) is successfully used by the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Aachen in this newly developed melt deposition modelling process (MDM process).

On the basis of improved thermal conductivity of the carbon fibre reinforced compound, the associated faster cooling speeds and the low lot tolerance for high-fill plastics, a stable manufacturing process with high production speeds has been implemented which results in outstanding mechanical properties. In order to improve the dosing and the feeding rate, AKROMID® is also supplied in granulate sizes below 1 mm in diameter which allows the use of finer dosing systems with even shorter holding times.

Additive or generative manufacturing methods

Additive or generative manufacturing methods are defined as processes in which components are built up layer by layer starting from 3D volume models. Unlike injection molding, no tool is required. These processes are often also referred to as 3D printing and include several technologies that differ in the materials used and the process of generative built-up. For example, sintering processes with powders (powder bed fusion), photopolymerization of liquid polymers and material extrusion are used to process plastics. Material strands are deposited in extrusion processes (FDM - Fused Depostion Modeling). Plastics are fed in extrusion processes as filament (FFF - Fused Filament Fabrication) or in the form of granules (FGF - Fused granulate fabrication).

Image dimensions not found

Change image or reupload it

In subtractive manufacturing, on the other hand, a component is produced by removing material. For example, a smaller component is created from a material blank by grinding, drilling or milling. Parts produced by 3D printing are often post-processed to achieve improved dimensional and surface tolerances. Particularly in the FGF process also called SEAM (Screw Extrusion Additive Manufacturing), the combination of additive and subtractive manufacturing is useful to additively print components with a high output rate and to locally rework functional areas by subtractive processes.

Pellet extrusion in additive manufacturing

AKROTEK® PK-VM GF 30 FR orange (8537) is a Polyketone with 30% glass-fibers and flame retardant free of halogens similar to RAL 2003. This grade meets the highest requirements for flammability such as UL94 V0 at 0,8 and electrical properties such as CTI of 600 V. This grade is optimized to the requirements of larger processing windows. Engineered for injection moulding this material can also be 3D-printed using pellet extrusion in large scale additive manufacturing. 

3D Video

3D Printing Pen Holder

At Fakuma Trade Fair 2021 (Hall B2 Booth 2108), a pen holder is presented by Yizumi using the 3D printing process.

The 3D printing is done on a preheated adhesive layer coated with the Plasmaplus Coating developed by Plasmatreat. The pen holder is printed with our AKROMID® NEXT U3 ICF 40 1 black (8238). It is a polymer based on castor oil. The biomass content in the polymer is 97%, and the compound is also reinforced with 40% recycled carbon fiber (PIR).

3d video 2

Hannover Fair 2018

In this video the process of additive manufacturing is applied. The video was recorded at the Hannover Fair 2018.

Hybride Fertigung video
Nicolai Lammert – Institute of Plastics Processing in Aachen

Ultimate Stress Levels

Dr.-Ing. Nicolai Lammert, who headed  the “Additive manufacturing” team at the Institute of Plastics Processing in Aachen and who was responsible for the development and implementation of the hybrid manufacturing cell, shown initially at K2016. Based on his thorough process analysis he is very positive about the new method: “With the help of our manufacturing technology and the 30 % carbon fibre reinforced polyamide 6, we are able to realise ultimate stress levels of 148 MPa on the manufacturing level (XY direction) and 40 MPa in the manufacturing direction (Z direction) on the component.

The properties in the Z-direction correspond to 85% of the mechanical properties of the pure PA 6 base thermoplastic. Due to the high freedom of movement of the industrial robot, the anisotropic material properties, such as the high mechanical properties in the production direction, can now be used specifically to adjust the mechanical properties in the subsequent component in line with the load path. With a discharge rate of currently 6 g/min, it is possible to increase the production speed by a factor of 20 compared to FLM-based manufacturing processes. And we still see significant upward potential there as well." Dr. Lammert industrialized the technology as Head of Business Unit additive Manufacturing at Yizumi Germany GmbH and has since taken over as Managing Director there.

Dr. Jan Dormanns – SMP Deutschland GmbH

Large-Sized Components

Due to the significantly increased production speed using a series production-tested technical thermoplastic, the hybrid manufacturing cell is not limited to the production of prototypes, but opens up new possibilities with regard to rapid manufacturing.

An exemplary application for such large-sized components is the concept study of a highly-integrative bionic support structure for instrument panels for the automotive supplier SMP Deutschland GmbH based in Bötzingen. Dr. Jan Dormanns, Project Manager in pre-development, explains: “In this bionic structure, both cross beams and air ducts as well as connectors for airbags, steering columns, displays and cladding parts are combined into one supporting unit.

Image dimensions not found

Change image or reupload it

In an overall concept where few tools are used and with investment savings of over 1.5 m Euros, rapid manufacturing could allow economical manufacture of such structures for small series. The MDM method of the IKV and the compounds of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH make a great contribution to the future industrial feasibility of such concepts.”

No Results

Disclaimer: All specifications and information given on this website are based on our current knowledge and experience. A legally binding promise of certain characteristics or suitability for a concrete individual case cannot be derived from this information. The information supplied here is not intended to release processors and users from the responsibility of carrying out their own tests and inspections in each concrete individual case. AKRO®, AKROMID®, AKROLEN®, AKROLOY®, AKROTEK®, ICX®, PRECITE® and DIA(hr)LOG® are registered trademarks of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH.