Covestro 3D Printing
Covestro, one of the world’s largest polymer companies, is working with partners to develop a comprehensive range of filaments, powders and liquid resins for all common 3D printing methods.
Following the recent opening of a new laboratory for 3D printing at its headquarters in Leverkusen, the company will soon be installing new equipment at its lab designed to develop and test material solutions developed by Covestro’s competence team for additive manufacturing and its partners.
“We want to work with leading partners in the process chain to further advance these developments,” Julien Guiu, who leads the company's global 3D printing activities, explained. “These include formulators, 3D printer manufacturers, software companies, service providers and of course OEMs.”
Last year, Covestro partnered with 3D printing filament manufacturer Polymaker to develop an engineering-grade polycarbonate-based materials, PC-Plus and PC-Max, which provide high temperature stability and toughness.
Covestro offers a broad choice of filaments for the fused filament fabrication process, from flexible thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) to high strength polycarbonate. Covestro TPU is very well suited to sports, footwear or automotive applications thanks to its excellent abrasion resistance and elasticity.
Covestro 3D Printing Lab
The company also offers TPU powders for selective laser sintering, providing significant advantages over materials commonly used in SLS, which tend to be less tough and elastic. These powders are already used in the production of custom high-performance footwear soles, which have been commercialised by key footwear OEMs by Covestro’s partner Lehmann&Voss&Co.
Covestro has also been developing systems for SLA, DLP and inkjet printing. These PU-based resins offer the unique opportunity to customise performance - toughness, flexibility, chemical and weathering resistance - due to Covestro's broad range of isocyanates and polyols. This chemistry will enable customisation of object properties at the voxel level to create gradient materials. Covestro has also expressed its belief that material data should be integrated into the software used on 3D printers so that component structures can be further optimised.