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Material Development in 3D at SKZ

Additive manufacturing has already found its way into the industrial production of small- and medium-scale series and is becoming increasingly important. Beside the further development of the 3D printing machines, an extension of the material range is essential for market penetration. By developing new materials with customized properties, further application fields for plastic parts produced by additive manufacturing are being accessed.

At the SKZ new materials for selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) are developed. All the necessary tools for research and development activities along the entire process chain are provided at the SKZ, from material formulations adjusted by compounding through the transformation into powder (SLS) or filament (FDM) to the experimentation on a free parameterizable laser sintering machine and several FDM printers.

Also the testing devices for the investigation of the rheological, thermal and mechanical properties of the raw materials and printed parts are available. With different extruders for compound production, a laboratory mill for pulverization and a wire extrusion line with a laser measuring head for inline controlling of the filament diameter the SKZ is optimally equipped for the production of SLS powders and FDM filaments from tailor-made materials.

Numerous analysis devices for powder characterization (sieving, laser diffraction, dynamic image analysis) as well as a hot-stage microscope for the observation of both melting and solidifying behaviors, also the crystallization process if happening, complete the assortment. The equipment is at searchers’ and interested industrial partners’ disposal for research and development projects around SLS and FDM.