Impossible Objects will present its latest 3D printing advancement at RAPID + TCT 2021 to help manufacturers produce high-performance products: PEEK 3D printed products at radically lower costs.
Impossible Objects, which developed the revolutionary composite-based additive manufacturing (CBAM) process, has now radically reduced the cost of PEEK products, making them available at the price of conventional PA12 prices and saving up to 80 percent from product costs, said Robert Swartz, chairman and founder of Impossible Objects.
In addition, the products are much stronger and show significantly better temperature performance than the PA12 products produced by laser sintering or HP Multi Jet Fusion, Swartz said.
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a semi-crystalline, high-performance engineering thermoplastic known for its high-temperature performance, strength and chemical resistance that competes with metals in performance.
“PEEK is the absolute gold-standard material in today’s composite manufacturing, thanks to its incredible temperature performance and chemical resistance and strength, but its high cost keeps it out of reach for the majority of manufacturers,” Swartz said. “Our methods have reduced the cost of the material so much that PEEK is comparable to more common composite materials.”
At the same time, PEEK products are superior for numerous applications, compared to PA12, as shown in tests comparing PEEK products from Impossible Objects’ CBAM process to PA12 products developed by HP’s Multi Jet Fusion process.
Superior strength and melting point
In these studies, PEEK products showed tensile strength of 132 Mpa, compared to 50 Mpa for PA12, and a melting point of 343 °C, compared to 210 °C for PA12.
While offering superior PEEK products, Impossible Objects is able to offer products at up to 80 percent less than average product costs.
Impossible Products can offer radically lower price and better performance because of the advantages of its composite-based CBAM process and lower cost sources for PEEK.
Impossible Object’s CBAM process has several advantages compared to HP’s Multi Jet Fusion and Laser sintering, including using fiberglass, a lower cost substrate; utilizing about half of the polymer; and processing 10 times faster than the speed of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
“As a result of using less material in the process than our competitors, we are able to reduce our final costs for customers, no matter what polymer we use,” Swartz said. “Thanks to our lower cost sources for PEEK, we are able to provide PEEK at prices comparable to conventional polymers like PA12.”
Currently, the Industries that often utilize PEEK are aerospace, automotive and aviation – but many other industries and companies would benefit use the product except for the higher price tag.
Lowering material cost is important for broadening adoption of additive manufacturing, and research has shown that costs of materials used in 3D printing can be higher than traditional manufacturing materials by up to a factor of eight on a per-weight basis.
“Our CBAM process has revolutionized 3D printing, offering faster speeds, better material properties and wider material selection,” Swartz said. “Allowing more of our customers to utilize PEEK is another way that we are building on the promise of additive manufacturing to drive widespread innovation across sectors and industries.”
Impossible Objects will present at Booth No. E8237 at RAPID + TCT 2021, North America’s largest and most influential Additive Manufacturing event, from September 13 to 15 at McCormick Place Lakeside Center in Chicago.
Impossible Objects’ proprietary CBAM technology can produce parts up to ten times faster than conventional fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing. By combining high-performance polymers like Nylon and PEEK with carbon fiber and fiberglass nonwoven materials, parts printed with Impossible Objects machines are stronger, lighter, have better dimensional accuracy and have better temperature performance than what’s possible with conventional 3D printing methods. The CBAM process can use a great variety of materials including carbon fiber and fiberglass paired with PEEK, PA6, PA12, elastomerics and most other thermoplastics.
About Impossible Objects
Impossible Objects, a 3D printer and materials company, was founded with the belief that materials science inventions would enable 3D printing to revolutionize the world in the same ways that computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way we live, work and play. The company’s composite-based additive manufacturing technology (CBAM) is an entirely new process that is fundamentally different from conventional additive manufacturing technologies. CBAM parts are stronger, lighter, have better temperature performance, and are more durable than other additive manufacturing technologies on the market. For more information, visit www.impossible-objects.com.