Jun 3, 2016 | By Alec

The popularity of industrial 3D printing has been skyrocketing, which has significant consequences for the plastics industry. While it used to be little more than a niche market, more and more plastics specialists are turning their attention to industrial 3D printing materials and are even forced to change their production methods entirely. In a bid to meet this growing industry demand, the German Dressler Group has now opened a new production plant that relies on new pulverization techniques to increase 3D printable powder yields.

In case you’ve never heard of the Dressler Group, this German company is something of an authority when it comes to plastic grinding. Part of a family-owned group that includes Godding + Dressler GmbH, Linus GmbH and Micro Powder System GmbH, they have been in the business for more than 35 years. Currently, they produce a very wide range of thermoplastic, natural rubber, elastomer and chemo-technical powders. They also closely collaborate with industry partners to develop new products; depending on demands, their powders can be as small as 20 microns per grain.

Like others in their field, they have also noticed an increasing demand for industrial 3D printable powders, and argue that the technology is heading towards a bright future. “3D printing on demand fulfils the need for faster innovations, the construction of special parts and for product individualization,” they say. Among others, they process plastic powders for surface coatings, laser sintering and other 3D printing applications.

However, 3D printing brings its own limitations to the table for material manufacturers. Especially new powders are often available in very limited quantities, due to inefficient raw material processing. “Unsuccessful attempts or a poor pulverization yield may mean a significant delay for product development,” they explain. This can, they add, seriously affect product development and 3D printing adoption rates.

To combat this problem, the Dressler Group has opened a new production plant for pulverizing materials and producing powders. Featuring a 400 square meter innovation lab, this new technical center is fully equipped to manufacture and develop new top level 3D printable powders. “The parameters devised for thermoplastic and thermoplastic elastomer powders can be tested directly in application tests for various techniques and selected according to economic criteria,” they say. The plant is also equipped with a six-meter-high test spray tower which can be used to optimize flow properties and grain shapes and sizes.

What’s more, they have also invested in new pulverization techniques to optimize powder production. “Depending on the product, [we can now] achieve a yield of almost 100%,” they say. Thanks to this new plant and technique, the Dressler Group will now be able to produce specific powder quantities of anywhere from a few kilograms to 100 kg, to meet all customer-specific demands. Like the other Dressler Group grinding plants, it is certified in accordance with the EU’s ISO 9001 standards.

Through these investments, the Dressler Group feels they are able to facilitate client wishes and innovations. “To be really innovative, sometimes unconventional paths also have to be taken. We have consistently retained this possibility with our in-house plant construction and use this expertise to cater in a timely manner to the special process requirements of our customers with the greatest flexibility,” CEO Jan Dressler said. “Our customers know that they can develop innovations with us and that they can rely on our discretion.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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