Covestro developed suitable material solutions for 3D printing methods

Dreaming Big on 3D Design

3D printing is a fascinating and cost-effective design method that creates prototypes and samples in a layer by layer process. Many industries now view it as a major opportunity for the efficient mass production of complex or individualized components.

Covestro has developed a comprehensive range of filaments, powders, and liquid resins for all common 3D printing methods, further advancing the use of 3D printing in the industry.

Task

A lack of suitable materials remains a key issue for 3D printing. While over 3,000 materials are available for conventional component manufacturing, only about 30 are available for 3D printing. Therefore, Covestro is developing new material solutions to help the new technology gain widespread traction.

Challenge

To ensure design freedom and accelerate the prototype design process, 3D printing technology requires materials that possess a variety of properties such as durability, heat resistance, transparency, and flexibility. Additionally, this material must be suitable for mass production.

Solution

Covestro offers a broad catalogue of filaments for the Fused Filament Fabrication process, from flexible thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) to high strength polycarbonates (PC). Each product enables addictive manufacturing to be applied to different industries such as medicine, footwear and electrical appliances. For example, Covestro’s 3D printed polycarbonate is used in orthotics, providing lightweight and fully customizable geometry for patients’ specific needs. This polycarbonate has also been adopted in gas meters for its high flame retardancy. Also, Covestro 3D printed TPU is well suited for the midsole of footwear thanks to its excellent abrasion resistance and durable elasticity, which can be applied in Selective Laser Sintering(SLS) process.