May 12, 2016 | By Alec

In recent years, many filament manufacturers have set their sights on adopting those durable and low-cost plastics that are already widely used throughout society. And for a long time, one of those plastics has been conspicuously absent from the list of 3D printable materials: PVC. The third most used plastic in the world, PVC is very durable, cheap, very resistant to the elements and fire retardant. Perfect, you’d think, for 3D printers. Fortunately, Australian PVC developer Chemson Pacific has now produced a 3D printable version of PVC called 3DVinyl.

Chemson Pacific is the Australian branch of the Chemson Group, and is specialized in developing and producing non-toxic and non-heavy metal stabilizer plastics. They usually work with PVC, and have previously developed several industrial PVC applications. Using all that expertise, they say, they have now been able to produce an all-Australian 3D printable PVC filament.

As they reveal to, 3DVinyl would not even be here if it wasn’t for one temporary lab technician called Dennis Planner. A big fan of 3D printing, he approached colleague Greg Harrison and asked him why Chemson wasn’t involved in 3D printing. “Dennis proceeded to elucidate [about 3D printing], but more importantly he pointed out that no one had successfully 3D printed a 'PVC filament' so far,” Harrison recalled.

Failing to provide an answer to the obvious question of why PVC has not been adapted for 3D printers before, Harrison began asking around himself. “We set up a program to arrive at some starting formulations, but our initial experiments were not particularly encouraging. However, the further down the path we progressed, and with attendant due diligence, we were rewarded with invaluable experience, gained both from the “blue-sky” R&D and the associated business case perspectives,” he explains. “The more we learned from Dennis about this new and evolving world of 3D printing, the greater was our sense that we were onto something significant, and that Dennis and his concept needed to become part of the “Chemson Pacific strategic outlook.”

Over a two year R&D period, which involved various experts such as Dr. Leo Hyde of DuPont, Marc Jolivet of PMMCO and experts from AIO Robotics, this grew into 3DVinyl. And as the company explains, they feel that their custom PVC formulation can bring truly thermoplastic properties to 3D printing. It has the power, they say, to significantly broaden the list of 3D printing applications, and is suitable for both home users and industrial manufacturing environments. Copying all the key properties of PVC, 3DVinyl filament is UV and solvent resistant, weatherproof, "Group 1" Fire retardant (capable of AS3837 compliance), and requires 50 per cent fewer fossil fuel inputs than many other filaments ((3DVinyl uses abundant natural gas while some incumbents are derived from crude oil). Its also very rigid, features excellent flow properties and heat stability, and doesn’t even suffer from warping or poor bed adhesion. 3D Vinyl also produces fantastic support structures.

It’s enough for Chemson to call it a fantastic 3D printing filament option for both prototypes and end-use products. “3DVinyl is a definitive new 3D printing material that will bring a combination of physical properties not available with the current incumbent polymeric materials,” Dennis Planner said. “3DVinyl brings a new era for the PVC Industry and Advanced Manufacturing, here in Australia and worldwide.”

Chemson will now be looking to commercialize 3DVinyl 3D printing filament. To do so, they are setting up regional alliances with PVC industry leaders Welvic and CSIRO in the Australian, New Zealand and East Asian markets. If you happen to be in Australia, you can also see this remarkable 3D printing filament for yourself at the Vinyl Council of the Australia Annual Conference on May 19th.

But not to worry: 3DVinyl is also coming to the rest of the world. For Chemson has also set up a partnership with Functionalize, the US-based developer of 3D printable conductive filaments, to reach the North American and European markets. Understandably, Functionalize was very happy to team up with Chemson Pacific for this filament. “3D Vinyl provides a strong, weatherable and durable alternative for conventional ABS use cases, while simultaneously expanding the materials options for the vast market of PLA-only printers,” said Michael Toutonghi, CEO of Functionalize. “We’re excited to partner with Chemson Pacific on commercialization and distribution of this important new material, and we look forward to functionalizing it for a broad range of manufacturing and maker applications.”



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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André wrote at 7/28/2016 8:58:56 AM:

where can i get it..??

Dennis Planner wrote at 5/13/2016 2:39:35 AM:

Hello I.AM.Magic, Thank you for your comment. My name is Dennis Planner, Product Manager for 3D Printing at Chemson Pacific P/L - a full-time position appointed approx 2 years ago. We have carefully & completely formulated 3D Vinyl™ from the ground up specifically for the 3D Printing community to eliminate each of the short-falls which would have been experienced by early experimenters trying to print "PVC". The PVC formulations back in 2012 did not possess our strict print-ability and sustainability criteria, highly stabilized and rheologically matched hot-head behaviour required to successfully print "PVC". 3D Vinyl™ uses totally non-toxic chemistry to prevent degradation and does not produce fumes during printing and produces a product with a combination of properties never seen before such as inherent weather-ability, superior sustainability footprint, solvent resistance and fire retardancy in one high-value formulation. Personally I'm active in the open-source 3D Printing community and I've built printers such as the Rostock and the Prusa i3; I would've not continued this project if PVC was at all harmful to our community/industry. The very fact that you may have experienced an issue with "Chlorine" would indicate the non-suitability of the feed-stock evaluated. We know how to correct any deficiencies so far experienced and each was corrected along the way. We welcome all constructive criticism & will demonstrate how valuable the addition of 3D Vinyl™ will be to the 3D Printing community as further progress continues to be made.

Mike Toutonghi wrote at 5/12/2016 7:15:08 PM:

Hi I.AM.Magic, This is Mike Toutonghi, CEO and Chief Scientist at Functionalize. The reason we partnered with Chemson Pacific on this is that the material is a real advance and not the same experience you describe. 3D-Vinyl is lead-free, phthalate-free, and is the same level of quality PVC used in blood bags. At the same time, Chemson has plasticized and stabilized it in a way that allows it to be processed as a thermoplastic for filament and 3D printing, while stabilizing chloride degradation. That makes extruding or printing with it completely odor-free and quite pleasant. It also doesn't require ABS level temps or a heated bed. This isn't just PR. The material looks and prints beautifully, and the level of stabilization is new, based on technology recently developed by Chemson. We're working on functionalized versions now.

I.AM.Magic wrote at 5/12/2016 4:45:09 PM:

First PVC filament? I don't think so. I remember using some in 2012 (way before PLA was popular). The problem with PVC is the C...Chloride. The vapors are very toxic. Nobody will buy it unless their 3D printers has a good ventilation system; most don't.

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