Additive Manufacturing (AM) is already opening up new possibilities in demanding applications. In order to further advance the relevant technologies, a consortium, led by the LEHVOSS UK and formed by University of Exeter (Center for AM), Victrex, FDM Digital Solutions, Q5D Technology and GRM Consulting, is working on the identification, development and optimization of materials and solutions for overprinting organic sheets and other components. Industries targeted are automotive, aerospace, medical technology, and defense. Target applications include electronic components, sensors, structural components and medical instruments and aids.
Expected results from this project are new material combinations and improved processes for overprinting, new applications, unique hardware for printing high-performance polymers onto non-planar surfaces, new software for the optimal positioning and orientation of materials and parts, as well as demonstrator components. The project is funded by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, and is due to run until May 2023.
In addition to leading the project, the LEHVOSS Group will primarily develop and provide the required polymeric printing materials. The focus here is on high-performance polymers such as PPS, PEI and PAEK (including PEEK) and the technical polymer polyamide (PA), modified with fibers and functional fillers.
Based on these and other polymers, the LEHVOSS Group already offers tailor-made materials for FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) and FGF (Fused Granulate Fabrication). These materials are among the leading on the market and are already characterized by excellent mechanical properties and outstanding processing properties. In this way, component strengths can be achieved that do not have to shy away from comparison with traditionally manufactured components, e.g. by injection molding.
"Additive Manufacturing is already established in serial applications today. This project aims to expand its application providing a suitable alternative to overmolding, which can be very cost intensive and time consuming. We are very pleased to lead this project together with our extremely capable and experienced consortium partners”, says Dr. Thiago Medeiros Araujo, Global Product Management LUVOCOM® 3F and head of the project.