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.
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.
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.