Divide By Zero Is The First 3D Printing Manufacturers to Get PEEK to India
Over the last few years, global manufacturers have been raving about the thermoplastic PEEK and its amazing properties. It boasts of high strength-to-weight ratio along with high chemical and heat resistance making it ideal for aerospace, automotive and military applications among others. Little do people know that, the popular thermoplastic ULTEM is a branded version of the PEEK material manufactured by SABIC, which is the world’s fourth-largest chemical producer in the world. How’s that for popularity?
Polyether Ether Ketone – or PEEK – is a high performing and popular organic polymer (plastic) used as a material for 3D printing and engineering applications, among a million other applications. PEEK is a colourless organic thermoplastic polymer and is technically from the Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) family.
What exactly is PEEK and why are we talking about it?
PEEK is known to have an extremely stable chemical structure which translates into a sturdy and a resilient product. It is pushing the conventional levels of endurance that have been set by the 3D printing materials so far. PEEK has a much higher tolerance for subjection to high temperatures and steam, as opposed to conventional materials. Due to its hard and strong polymer, it is far less susceptible to wear and tear and hence, obviously, lasts longer. Moreover, it only dissolves in concentrated nitric acid or sulphuric acid. Owing to all these characteristics, PEEK has made its way as one of the most preferred materials for 3D printing.
And this is why we are talking about it. After extensive research, Divide By Zero has figured out how to effectively and efficiently 3D print with this amazing polymer. We can proudly say that our 3D printers support this material and the possibilities are as many as your imagination allows. Read on to know more about the material itself and how it can help your business.
What are the benefits of PEEK across industries?
While 3D printing itself has its tentacles in every industry that requires prototyping and small-scale production, even, the versatile PEEK is here to take this to the next level. The following are just a few industries among many where PEEK is on the brink of creating a revolution.
PEEK is pretty inert a material and tends to stay stable for long periods of time. It has been used in dental implants and has known to last long without reacting to the body. Also, it is non-interfering and does not obstruct radio imaging when the tissues surrounding the implant are to be studied. PEEK can withstand high temperature and can be subjected to autoclaving and hence can be easily used to make reusable medical equipment.
Due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and stability, it is an efficient material used in product packaging. The food-grade variety of PEEK can be used in appliances and surfaces that come in direct contact with food.
Known in the industry for its resistance to wear and tear, PEEK lasts for a long time and is a stable material. It can withstand high temperatures, chemical washes and long-term erosion resistance to water making it a great contender for semiconductors and electronics, chemical processing, automotive and much more. In fact, high-quality variants of this material are also popular in aerospace research and design. This surely is a testament to the quality and robust nature of this material.
The above only scratches the surface for applications of the PEEK material. PEEK is one the most available, sought-after and versatile high-performance polymers on the market today.
Why is it difficult to print PEEK?
Part of the challenge of 3D printing PEEK is actually one of the benefits of the material. As PEEK displays high-resistance to heat, manipulating the form and structure of the polymer requires high-temperatures.
There are two major challenges when it comes to 3D printing with PEEK. Firstly, managing a high yet stable temperature in the printhead. Secondly, to ensure accuracy and better adherence (in term of solidification) in the layers of the object. In addition to general temperature control issues, it is particularly important to have adequate thermal management and control over the entire build chamber of the 3D printer. These factors make it hard to print strong high-resolution objects with substantial volume. In many instances, the impurities found in poor-grade PEEK can lead to inconsistencies in the layers while 3D printing.
To counter this, conventional production techniques deploy subtractive methods which generate significant waste and require more tooling and fabrication depending on demands of the object’s design.
However, are subtractive methods of production really the answer to these challenges? At Divide By Zero Technologies, we beg to differ.
Why 3D Printing with the PEEK material makes sense?
We’re sure by now you aware of both the advantages of the material and the challenges involved in 3D Printing with the PEEK material.
3D printing is a bio-safe method and does not use and require large volumes of this otherwise expensive materials. 3D printing with PEEK offers two-fold benefits of reduced consumption and wastage along with significant cost-saving.
Unlike conventional production techniques, 3D printing requires less time, material and tooling. By avoid the tooling stage completely, you can simply design the object on CAD software, upload the STL file of the design in the 3D printer and watch the object get made in front of you layer-by-layer.
Additionally, multiple machines and procedures will also be required to ensure biosafety which is a growing concern across manufacturing verticals.
The Divide By Zero Advantage
We vouch for the quality and importance of the PEEK material in current and upcoming eras of product design. Divide By Zero is India’s 1st company to start commercial 3D printing services with the PEEK materials. Currently, we can easily deliver a maximum print size of 150 mm*200mm*200mm and we are constantly trying to increase the build volume.
At Divide By Zero Technologies, we leverage our deep expertise in 3D printing and material engineering to resolve all the concerns you may encounter with the versatile PEEK material. Due to our unique extrusion technology and AFPM technology, our AION 500 MK2 3D printer can deliver impressive result with PEEK that others cannot.
It brings us more joy to know that even at a global level very few companies have fully adopted commercial 3D printing with the PEEK material. If your business is looking for a 3D printing solution that is compatible with a host of materials, your search ends here. Divide By Zero’s IoT-enabled, industrial-grade professional 3D printer AION 500 MK2, featuring patented Advanced Fusion Plastic Modelling (AFPM) technology, is the one for you. Learn more about it here: www.divbyz.com/aion500-mk2