Germany-based start up INDMATEC is the first company that was able to make PEEK printable using FDM 3D printing technology.
Besides the recent market launch of PEEK filaments, INDMATEC has now developed the first FDM 3D printer especially conditioned for industrial customers wishing to 3D print PEEK.
The high performance polymer PEEK (polyether-ether-ketone) is characterised by its high temperature-resistance, mechanical stiffness, biocompatibility, chemical resistance and bio-inertness. For these reasons it is used in many industrial areas, such as automotive, mechanical engineering, medical, electronics and semiconductor sectors. Companies can use PEEK to produce mechanically and thermally highly durable synthetic parts. Because of its low weight and attractive mechanical attributes, PEEK can be used to substitute metal in certain technical applications.
Current production processes for PEEK material are less efficient, mainly due to the high amount of waste PEEK material generated. This economic weakness has been eliminated by INDMATEC’s work on 3D printing of PEEK.
“The development preceded years of research,” said Prof. Dr. Okolo, material scientist and co-founder of INDMATEC GmbH, “to make PEEK usable as filament and concurrently develop a FDM 3D printer, that meets the challenging demands of the material.”
With its unique characteristics, the PEEK 3D printer has a perfect synergy of soft- and hardware, making it ideal for processing PEEK. The build-chamber (print volume: 155 x 155 x 155 mm3) is closed, and made with parts from non-reactive materials, which warrant a well defined temperature profile during the entire printing process. The HotEnd and nozzle have been specially developed for PEEK printing, allowing for temperatures up to 420°C. Additionally, the printer has a special heat-bed for optimum adhesion of the PEEK material. The user-friendly interface of the software to control the printer, allows the user to print PEEK in a one-click-procedure.
“It was our goal to make additive manufacturing economically accessible for small- and medium sized enterprises,” according to Tony Tran-Mai. The CEO of INDMATEC GmbH is happy that the company is able to offer this innovative technology with an attractive price tag.
The 3D printer developed by INDMATEC is optimized to print, not only PEEK, but also other high -temperature and -performance polymers that meet the operating standards of many industrial sectors.
The printer inclusive of software is priced at 9,590€ (excluding VAT). Regular software- and parameter updates are included in the offer. Furthermore it is possible to book an implementation service, as well as technical support.
July 15, 2015: Update – INDMATEC releases first pictures of its FDM printer