Evonik Corporation and Evolve Additive Solutions, Inc. have announced a joint development agreement where the companies will work together to formulate Evonik’s thermoplastic materials to be used in Evolve’s selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process (STEP) additive manufacturing solutions. The initial development efforts will focus on polyamide 12, PEBA, transparent polyamide, and polymer of the polyamide 6 series. In the future, the combined efforts will result in a wider range of materials for STEP users with more 3D printing material choices for production that are commonly used in traditionally manufactured products.
Evolve’s STEP technology will sit alongside traditional manufacturing processes, such as injection molding on the manufacturing floor, augmenting an organization’s production capabilities and allowing freedom of design and faster time to market with “toolless” production. The selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process from Evolve is still in the alpha development stage and is expected to be commercial in late-2020.
New possibilities for 3D printing materials
“STEP has been developed for volume manufacturing so offering the widest range of thermoplastic materials to our customers is a critical element for production,” said Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions. “The joint development agreement with Evonik allows us to broaden the spectrum of STEP materials to include materials currently accepted by OEMs from additive, but more importantly to debut a whole new set of materials opening up more applications that can take advantage of everything additive manufacturing offers.
Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the Head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik added, “Evolve’s entirely new technology approach will allow us to expand the range of applications of our high-performance powder materials, which are produced through a unique production process. With more than 20 years of experience in 3D printing, we will also develop a wider range of customized powder formulations to unlock the full potential of the STEP technology.”