Jun 27, 2017 | By Julia

ViscoTec, the German manufacturer of dosing and pumping systems, has developed a two-component printhead designed specially for 3D printing viscous materials. Announced earlier today, the ViscoDUO-FDD 4/4 is being marketed as an efficient alternative to FDM extruders, and promises to 3D print two-component liquids and pastes with maximum consistency and precision throughout the printing process.

As the 3D printing sector turns increasingly to viscous fluids and pastes based on a two-component polymer, we’re seeing a rise in printing materials such as silicones, epoxy resins, polyurethanes, acrylates and polyester resins. While these advanced materials mean a plethora of new printing possibilities, the drawback is that viscous fluids and pastes can complicate the printing procedure, requiring additional software and an extra careful eye.

With its new ViscoDUO-FDD 4/4, however, VisoTec is consciously seeking to tackle that issue. In place of an FDM extruder, the two-component printhead is implemented directly in the 3D printer and controlled with existing software solutions, meaning no extra purchases are required on the part of the user. Additionally, the single printhead ensures that the mixing ratio of the two materials remains consistently adhered to over the course of the printing process.

ViscoTec representatives credit the rotating displacement principle as the core of their new innovation. “Thanks to the special geometry, a precisely defined chamber volume is created in which the material is continuously axially transported. By reversing the direction of rotation, a breakage of the thread is generated – to ensure absolutely clean printing results,” say company reps in a statement. The result is a purely volumetric technology that’s geared towards high-precision 3D printing.

Rotating displacement principles aside, the ViscoDUO-FDD 4/4 promises to deliver an efficient printing process with product-ready results. The two-component printhead is connected to the printer’s mixing head via two separate flow-optimised channels. Initial mixing of the two materials takes place in the mixing tube, which can be removed and disposed of after the printing operation is completed. The printhead can also be filled gradually over a longer period of time, as the separate extruder units prevent the materials from curing prematurely. Additional benefits include a programmable retraction feature, which prevents the material from dripping.

All in all, the ViscoDUO-FDD 4/4 looks to be a solid product from ViscoTec, and a promising development for printing with more advanced materials in the future. We’re betting there’ll be lots more of this to come from competitors.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

 

 

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