Dec 16, 2015 | By Alec

In our experience, 3D printer developers are young, ambitious and hard-working companies that don’t exactly rest on their laurels after reaching a release date. Despite that, however, few people will have expected that the German experts of Indmatec would be back with a second generation of their excellent HPP 155 PEEK 3D printer, after the first was only released in the summer 2015. What’s more, they have also shared interesting performance data of their high quality PEEK filament, proving that this is one FDM material that doesn’t pale in comparison to SLS or other high quality 3D printing materials.

To refresh your memories, the Indmatec HPP 155 3D printer was developed by the German engineeres of Indmatec with the specific purpose of optimally 3D printing their high quality PEEK filament, short for polyether-ether-ketone. The high performance PEEK polymer features high temperature resistance, mechanical stiffness, biocompatibility, chemical resistance and bio-inertness for users that demand more out of their materials than what is commonly offered by existing filament manufacturers.  Because of its low weight and attractive mechanical attributes, PEEK has also been used as a substitute to metal in certain technical applications. In short, it seems to be everything you dream 3D printing to be about until you first hold a PLA creation, and has already been used in automotive, mechanical engineering, medical, electronics and semiconductor industries, and elsewhere.

Some high performance examples of PEEK filament 3D printed on the HPP 155.

But being a filament with very specific 3D printing demands – specifically an all metal Hotend, a proper heating bed and an enclosed chamber – and the Germans designed the HPP 155 as a high-performance 3D printer that is capable of working with this material. The second generation of the HPP 155, as the Germans explain to 3ders.org, is just an improvement of that already excellent machine, particularly intended to give users more production freedom.

This new machine is already available and comes with the Expert Version software upgrade, that allows users to change all of the 65 3D printing parameters to their heart’s content. “This allows you to, theoretically, print any polymers with the same machine, when you figure out the parameters for the specific polymer. We are researching these right now but everyone is welcome to try it out with their machine. The machine is still optimized for PEEK, but PEEK being a polymer with high mechanical requirements to the printer, that’s why we think that we will be able to print anything with it,” the German developers explain to 3ders.org.

Furthermore, the machine also features upgraded mechanics that improve 3D printing results. It will however, continue to be called the Indmatec HPP 155, as that’s the name of the model. The German engineers are confident that this machine is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment and manufacture using high performance polymers, and they look to be absolutely correct in that respect. “Especially R&D institutes will benefit from the freedom we give our customers with the expert version,” they say. Just note that the expert software package isn’t standard, so the normal edition of the HPP 155 is only suitable for PEEK.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply using PEEK, which is especially for technical applications with focus on wear resistance, light construction and chemical resistance. It’s full statistics are:

  • Dimension-stable and abrasion-resistant for long-term work temperatures up to 250°C (482°F)
  • Melting point of 343°C (650°F), Glass transition temperature is 143°C (289°F)
  • Very high specific tenacity with low concentration: 98 MPa at 1,3 g/cm³
  • (Cf. Aluminum: 45 MPa at 2,5 - 2,9 g/cm)
  • Chemical resistance against most of external influences

Those most of that was already known, a new study by Indmatec shows that the 3D printed results also have excellent performance properties that are quite comparable to other high tech 3D printing materials, including those for SLS 3D printing. This can be found in a publication by Prof. Brando Okolo, the company‘s CTO, in which he compares tensile test data of FDM 3D printed PEEK with other materials – including PEEK 3D printed with other technologies and even injection molded materials.

And the results are quite intriguing. “Indmatec’s FFF 3D Printed PEEK has mechanical properties quite comparable with that of powder injection molded (PIM) PEEK. This is made possible by the hardware and software running on INDMATEC’s HPP 155 PEEK printer”, the professor explains. “The test data is compared with that from powder injection molded PEEK and PEEK produced using selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing method. Data for the X/Y 3D printing direction are here stated. For 3D printed parts in the Z – direction mechanical test values generally lie at 30% less the values for X/Y direction.” Those results can be seen in the figure above.

In short, it seems that Indmatec’s FDM 3D printed PEEK is arguably a very suitable material for high performance prototyping and production, making their upgraded Indmatec HPP 155 a very tempting machine for professional users. And with more filaments having been released last week, PEI-ULTEM, POM-C (AH-SD) and INDMAFLON (Polyvinylidene Fluoride-PVDF), it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid Indmatec.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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ahmed samir wrote at 4/14/2016 3:23:14 PM:

what about the price



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