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Wacker opens ACEO US-based open print lab

Mar '19
Pic: Wacker
Pic: Wacker
Wacker has opened its first US-based ACEO open print lab. The new facility, located at Wacker’s silicone R&D facility in Ann Arbor, MI, is equipped with 3D printers able to process a broad range of silicone rubber with different Shore A hardnesses and in varying colours. Wacker is a leader and one of the world’s most research-intensive chemical companies.

Following the success of Wacker’s ACEO open print lab in Burghausen, Germany, and the high demand for additive manufacturing solutions in North America, the print lab will offer first-hand tutorials and hands-on training allowing customers to experience 3D printing with silicone rubber, the company said in a media statement.

Wacker introduced the world’s first 3D printing web shop in 2016, making ACEO technology and services available to customers worldwide. However, education about a pioneering technology such as ACEO needs a local presence.

“Our business partners in the region want to understand how their ideas and products can be brought to market with our support. Wacker’s Silicone R&D centre in Ann Arbor was designed to develop advanced and forward-looking solutions for silicones. With the new open print lab, we can significantly expand our local portfolio and contribute to the growing demand of the market,” Ian Moore, vice president Wacker Silicones at Wacker Chemical Corporation in MI said.

The new open print lab is headed by lab manager Sarah Burke, who previously worked at the silicones R&D centre in fundamental product research for construction applications and consumer care. ACEO’s unique additive manufacturing technology for silicone elastomers enables unprecedented product designs and complex geometries for rapid prototyping purposes. It is also suitable for serial manufacturing and cost-efficient production of replacement parts.

The ACEO team will also offer workshops open to small groups of up to four people. After signing up, customers and the team will be able to define dates, expectations and goals of the workshop. Participants will go through personalised trainings, consisting of theoretical and printing sessions from additive manufacturing basics to advanced design.

Wacker’s 3D printing technology ACEO is the world’s first industrial-scale technology for the additive manufacturing of liquid silicone rubber components. The unique drop-on-demand technology allows design freedom and the printing of highly functional parts while maintaining the outstanding properties of silicone rubber such as temperature and radiation resistance or biocompatibility. Printed silicone rubber components can be used in a wide range of applications and in several key industries such as the automotive, aerospace and aviation, healthcare and equipment industry, as well as in mechanical engineering. ACEO offers several services including design support, training sessions at its print lab and a web shop for secure file upload and ordering. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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