ACEO® Introduces 20 Shore A for Silicone 3D PrintingMay 16, 2018
WACKER’s ACEO® team will be participating at the Rapid.Tech in Erfurt, Germany to present its 3D printing with silicones. The unique drop-on-demand technology, a milestone in additive manufacturing, enables both high precision and freedom of design. Visit ACEO® at the booth 2-700.
Soft Robotics Grippers – Customized Designs from now 20 to 60 Shore A Silicone Rubber
Soft Robotics is a subfield of robotics dealing with constructing robots from compliant materials. Soft robotics mimic living organisms and adapt to their surroundings. Increased flexibility and adaptability for accomplishing tasks, as well as improved safety when working around humans, stimulate the use in food industry, advanced manufacturing and E-commerce.
In order to manufacture grippers with complete freedom of design and function, 3D printing is the method of choice. ACEO® 3D printing of silicone elastomer allows to customize soft robotic grippers to varying size, shape and weight easily. The real elastomer made from 100% silicone with food compliance and biocompatibility are based on Wacker Chemie AG advanced silicone rubber technology. ACEO® 3D printing enables a digital fabrication of pneumatic silicone actuators exhibiting unprecedented programmable bioinspired architectures and motions.
Silicones – A versatile high-tech material
Silicone Elastomers are inorganic synthetic rubbers. They offer a unique combination of chemical and mechanical properties such as hardness or color variation, which they maintain throughout the printing process – a result that cannot be achieved by organic elastomers. 3D-printed silicone objects are comparable with other manufacturing methods like injection molding or rapid prototyping.
Silicone has been industrially produced for about 70 years. The modern high-tech material, which is known for its longevity and elasticity, has further properties which can achieve a significant added value in various applications. Silicone is extremely temperature-stable and media-resistant. Its nearly limitless color portfolio includes even highly transparent and black grades. In addition, it can be formulated either electrically conductive or insulating. Certified silicones are biocompatible which make them ideal for healthcare applications.
Unique drop-on-demand technology enables both high precision and freedom in design
The ACEO® technology is based on a “drop on demand” principle. The print head deposits single silicone voxels on a building platform, which flow together smoothly, forming a homogeneous surface. After printing a layer, the curing is activated by a UV light. In this manner a three-dimensional object is built up layer by layer. In order to realize complex structures, overhangs and cavities, a support material is printed during the same process. Right after the end of the printing, the silicone form part is removed from the printer. The support material, which is environmentally safe, is easily and quickly washed out with water. Subsequently, the part is post-cured to achieve the final mechanical properties.
Pioneering a new technology
In a web shop, customers can upload their own CAD designs which are then being additively manufactured in the Print Fab in Burghausen, Germany and shipped to customers worldwide. An interdisciplinary team across material, hardware, software and design offers several accompanying services, among contract development for design and material. Various R&D cooperations with universities or other research institutions aim at further increasing the expertise in this highly specialized field of 3D printing.
Dr. Bernd Pachaly explains “We are proud to present a new 20 Shore A silicone, now we can offer 20 to 60 Shore A, a compelling range not only for soft robotics. We will keep the speed of our development to further broaden our service offerings”.
Visit ACEO® at the Rapid.Tech in Erfurt, booth 2-700, from June 5th – 7th 2018!
ACEO® is a registered trademark of Wacker Chemie AG. WACKER is a globally active chemical company with some 13,450 employees and annual sales of around €4,6 billion (2016). WACKER has a global network of 23 production sites, 19 technical competence centers and 49 sales offices.
ACEO®: A Success Story
When ACEO® first introduced its technology in 2016, the development of their system solution was a milestone in additive manufacturing. Their silicones were the first elastomers which can be 3D printed while maintaining their outstanding properties such as temperature and radiation resistance or biocompatibility. ACEO® developed both hardware and software for their unique material and technology, and launched the world’s first web shop for 3D printing with silicones.
In July 2017, ACEO® opened their Open Print Lab in Burghausen to offer tailor-made 3D printing programs for customers. Participants will go through individual trainings, consisting of theoretical and printing sessions from additive manufacturing basics to advanced design. This first-hand experience helps to understand how ACEO®‘s system solution matches the customers’ needs and gives valuable insights for future product design.
Open Print Lab
Register up to four participants for a tailor-made Open Print Lab training at the ACEO® Campus in Burghausen at https://www.aceo3d.com/open-print-lab/registration/
ACEO® Web Shop
Register to ACEO®’s web shop, upload your individual design and have it 3D printed and shipped worldwide.
Wacker Chemie AG
Gewerbepark Lindach A 12
Dr. Bernd Pachaly
Head of Project 3D Printing
T +49 8677 83-2716
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