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German RepRap, the leading German manufacturer of FFF-3D printers and Dow Corning, a global leader in the field of industrial silicones, are presenting a new method for the additive manufacturing of liquids with the Dow Corning LC-3335 3D Pressure silicone on the formnext 2016. Developed in a joint cooperation, this ground-breaking new production technology allows for the first time the additive processing of silicone materials with nearly identical properties of silicones, which are already widely used in injection molding. “The LC-3335 3D printing silicone material represents the close collaboration between leading 3D printer manufacturers and materials suppliers,” said Hugo da Silva, Dow Corning’s global industry director for lighting and 3D printing. “More than just a technological achievement, this material brings the power and flexibility of silicon technology to the area of ​​3D printing where users now combine the unique advantages of Dow Corning silicones with faster production of prototypes and small series of highly complex parts. ” German RepRap designed its patent-pending new LAM 3D printer to make the silicon processing industry available for the first time to the full potential of additive manufacturing. For example, highly complex geometries can be produced, which previously could not be produced in injection molding or at considerable expense. During the layered setup, a special thermal curing results in a complete crosslinking at the molecular level between the individual silicon layers. This complete crosslinking enables the actual outstanding property of this new process: the mechanical properties of the additive-made silicone part are very close to the mechanical properties of injection-molded parts. Thus this method is not of interest for the generation of functional models and prototypes, Specifically, the test parts made with the LC-3335 silicone on the German RepRap LAM 3D printer show the same sharp curing profile of injection-molded test samples, as well as about 80% of the mechanical properties. In detail, the 3D printed parts have about 70% of the tensile elongation and about 90% of the tensile strength of injection molded samples of comparable material.”

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