The Munich-based WACKER chemical group is set to open its first regional 3D printing lab outside Germany at the end of 2018. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the new facility will provide ACEO silicone rubber 3D printing services to the growing North American market.
"From the beginning, we will be working on projects in the areas of medical equipment and medical devices, transportation, aerospace and electronics, all key industrial areas,particularly for silicone-based products."
Droplet-on-demand silicone 3D printing
ACEO 3D printing technology is a droplet-on-demand based method that creates 3D objects by building up voxels of material.After each layer, the material solidifies under ultraviolet light.The process is done by the company's imagination printer.
The silicone elastomers used for ACEO 3D printing are tailor made for UV Resistance, Sterilizability and Thermal Stability.According to the company, the final product can be compared with the injection molding of silicone products.
A million dollar facility
WACKER has confirmed that the new ACEO 3D printing center is funded by "a single digital million US-dollar" investment from the company, and it will be co-located with an existing WACKER silicones R&D center.
Pachaly concludes, "Establishing a regional lab will support expansion of ACEO's footprint in the US and furthers WACKER's global service network for silicone rubber 3D printing solutions."