Graphene Enhanced PLA Filaments for 3D Printing
3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) enables designers to produce components or models directly from computer aided design software ("CAD") on a computer without the need to manufacture moulds or tooling. This is a fast growing and sizeable market today estimated to be worth over $30bn by 2022. Source: marketsandmarkets.com (April 2016).
The Haydale graphene enhanced PLA filaments, available in 1.75mm and 2.85 mm diameters, have been trialled by a number of 3D printing companies who have reported a number of major benefits, including:
· Excellent first layer adhesion and z axis strength retention;
· Major increase in speed of processing;
· Improved strength and stiffness;
· Better impact performance;
· Excellent print quality and surface finish;
· Improved dimensional accuracy; and
· Compatibility with a broad range of printers and ease of use.
HCS are collaborating with Filamentprint (UK) Ltd, a company specialising in the compounding and manufacture of thermoplastic filaments for 3D printing and Fullerex Ltd, HGI's sales agent for its functionalised nanomaterials.
HCS and Filamentprint (UK) Ltd are exhibiting these new materials at the TCT show on adjacent booths H39 and H41 and staff from all three companies will be available to discuss the properties and benefits of graphene enhanced PLA filaments. These specifically include how the mechanical, electrical, thermal and physical properties of the graphene enhanced PLA filaments can be tailored to meet the needs of different applications and markets. The companies will also be demonstrating products being 3D printed in graphene enhanced PLA. Data sheets and price lists will be available for interested parties.
Whilst HCS and Filamentprint (UK) Ltd will be launching their first commercially available Graphene enhanced PLA filaments, the companies are also developing an extended range of Graphene enhanced thermoplastics including ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene), Nylon and Polypropylene materials.
Ray Gibbs, CEO at Haydale Limited, said:
"I am delighted with this sales initiative which represents another step forward for Haydale as we seek to commercially exploit the potential for graphene and other nanomaterials. The trials undertaken provided excellent results and that gives us confidence we have a ready-made product for this rapidly growing world-wide market. While we have chosen thermoplastic materials as the first product suite, we know from our relationship with WCPC (the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating) that they have 3D printed with a range of novel materials from chocolate and collagen to concrete! Building on this expertise we see additive manufacturing using our nano materials included as another potential area for future sales."
Commenting on the feedback from 3D printing companies, Gerry Boyce, Managing Director of HCS said:
"We are very excited about the development of graphene enhanced thermoplastic materials for 3D printing. These new materials offer so many benefits including the ability to make parts stiffer, stronger and faster! Speed of print has historically been a barrier to wide scale take up of 3D printing. In the future, the thought of making structural components direct from CAD excites us enormously."