New DOW CORNING® LC-3335 3D Printable Silicone Rubber Introduces High-Performance Silicone Technology to Additive Manufacturing
Developed with German RepRap GmbH, Dow Corning’s Silicone is Compatible with Collaborator’s Advanced New Liquid Additive Manufacturing Method
Dow Corning unveiled DOW CORNING® LC-3335 3D Printable Silicone Rubber here at formnext 2016. Developed in collaboration with German RepRap GmbH, the leading German manufacturer for fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D Printers, this breakthrough new materials technology is perhaps the first Dow Corning solution to be formulated specifically for designers seeking to combine the performance benefits of silicone with the design and processing advantages of their additive manufacturing process.
"LC-3335 3D Printable Silicone Rubber is representative of what close collaboration between a leading materials supplier and a top 3D printing equipment company can achieve," said Hugo da Silva, global industry director for lighting and 3D printing at Dow Corning. "More than simply a technological achievement, this patent-pending breakthrough material introduces the power and versatility of silicone technology into the realm of 3D printing. Dow Corning customers can now combine the uniquely beneficial properties of our silicones with faster prototype development and small series production of highly complex parts."
German RepRap designed its patent-pending 3D Printer to print successive layers of LC-3335 3D Printable Silicone Rubber in a method comparable to the FFF process. Thus, it can form complex silicone parts that would be difficult or impossible to achieve through conventional injection molding. Each layer of silicone is fully cross-linked through thermal cure to enable parts with mechanical properties that are comparable to molded components.
Test parts printed with LC-3335 Silicone on German RepRap’s platform exhibited the same sharp cure profile of injection molded test samples, as well as 80 percent (on average) of the samples’ mechanical properties. Specifically, 3D printed parts demonstrated 70 percent of the tensile strength elongation of injection molded samples, and 90 percent of their tear strength. Consequently, with German RepRap’s platform, DOW CORNING® LC-3335 3D Printable Silicone Rubber is potentially capable of printing functional prototypes and enabling small manufacturing trials of complex parts. Further, the material’s properties closely match those of liquid silicone rubber (LSR), allowing an easy transfer into injection molding processes for high-volume manufacturing.
Dow Corning is committed to collaborating with leading equipment makers to extend the benefits of its industry-leading silicone materials and expertise to the fast-growing field of 3D printing. Additive manufacturing promises to accelerate the design-to-production process by quickly converting digital designs into functional parts for low- to medium-volume manufacturing without the time or cost required to first build a molding tool and prototype. Consequently, the technology can significantly reduce production waste, optimize the supply chain, eliminate tooling and speed the time to market for new designs unachievable through conventional technology.
LC-3555 Printable Silicone Rubber expands design options in automotive, healthcare, cookware, lighting and other applications where traditional LSRs are used. Dow Corning is currently exploring future silicone rubber products for 3D printing, including optical- and medicalquality grades, UV-curable materials and other innovative solutions.
About Dow Corning
Dow Corning (dowcorning.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s DOW CORNING® and XIAMETER™ brands. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2015, Dow had annual sales of nearly $49 billion and employed approximately 49,500 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 product families are manufactured at 179 sites in 35 countries across the globe. On June 1, 2016, Dow became the 100 percent owner of Dow Corning Corporation’s silicones business, a global company with sales of greater than $4.5 billion in 2015, 25 manufacturing sites in 9 countries and approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
About German RepRap GmbH
German RepRap GmbH is headquartered in Feldkirchen, Germany, and was originally founded as the German RepRap Foundation (GRRF) in 2010. It is a German manufacturer of industrial 3D printers "Made in Germany." The company develops and manufactures 3D printers based on fused filament fabrication, and sells these together with the software, filaments and accessories directly, as well as via a global network of qualified sales partners. German RepRap was the first company in Germany to put a RepRap-based large-capacity 3D printer for professional users on the market in the form of the X400. The product line continues to expand and consists of 3D printers for professional use in the fields of product development, prototyping, mold and model making, architecture and design – right up to a build space of 1000 x 800 x 600 mm. Customers include major global industrial manufacturers from many sectors, including the automotive industry, aerospace, medical technology mechanical and system engineering and much more, as well as designers, architects, artists and other demanding private users. For more information, visit: www.germanreprap.com.
For further information contact:
AH&M Marketing Communications
+1.413.448.2260, Ext. 200
German RepRap GmbH
+18.104.22.168.986 Ext. 0
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