Aug 3, 2017 | By Tess

ACEO, a part of Munich-based chemicals company WACKER, has been a leading force in the development of silicone 3D printing for several years. Last year, the company even unveiled the world’s first silicone 3D printer. Now, ACEO is hoping to make its innovative technology more known by establishing the Open Print Lab at its campus in Burghausen, Germany.

Dr. Vera Seitz, ACEO Product Design Engineer, will be leading the Open Print Lab

The new Open Print Lab was opened with the aim of giving clients information and first-hand demonstrations of ACEO’s silicone 3D printing technology by the company’s experts. The lab will include all aspects of the silicone 3D printing process, including the software, hardware, and materials.

The silicone 3D printing technology was developed by a specialist team at WACKER which was able to combine real elastomer parts and design freedom to achieve a silicone additive manufacturing process. According to the company, ACEO Silicones are the first elastomer materials which can be 3D printed.

ACEO’s Silicones have been developed to maintain their main properties when printed, including their temperature and radiation resistance, as well as their biocompatibility. The 3D printing materials are available in a wide range of colors and a variety of different hardnesses.

The 3D printing process was developed around a “drop-on-demand” principle, in which a print head deposits drops of a silicone elastomer onto a build platform. The drops, which flow into each other to create a print layer, are then cured (layer by layer) with a UV light. The process continues like this until the desired 3D object is complete.

A 3D printed lens array made from silicone

ACEO had already set up an automated web shop for its clients, enabling them to upload designs, get quotes, and order 3D printed silicone parts online. Now, with its new Open Print Lab, it is hoping to expand knowledge about its additive manufacturing technology.

“Information and education across industries are key to understanding the variety of opportunities and applications offered by the ACEO technology,” explained Dr. Bernd Pachaly, Head of Project 3D Printing at WACKER SILICONES. “We want customers to understand how our solution matches their needs. There is no better than learning by first-hand experience. This is why we created our Open Print Lab.”

The Open Print Lab is located at the ACEO Campus in Burghausen and will be offering specialized workshops for small groups of up to four people. Groups that register for the ACEO workshops will be able to decide the “expectations and goals” for the program in cooperation with the ACEO team.

In a given workshop, the ACEO team says it will offer individual training sessions, which will include “theoretical and printing sessions from additive manufacturing basics to advanced design.” Interested groups can register for the Open Print Lab on ACEO’s website.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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