Evonik to develop 3D STEP materials

The chemicals company Evonik has signed a joint development agreement with Evolve Additive Solutions to formulate Evonik’s thermoplastic materials for use with Evolve’s selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process (STEP) additive manufacturing solutions.

Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions

Evolve is a subsidiary of Stratasys that was formerly set up last year to continue developing the STEP technology, which is still in the alpha development stage and not expected to be commercially available until late2020. It’s based on a toner-based electrophotographic printing process, with Kodak supplying the toner. This is used to produce the layers and Evolve has added its own proprietary IP to align those layers together plus sophisticated bonding techniques to create final parts that are said to have isotropic properties in X, Y and Z directions on par with injection molding.

The STEP technology is designed to be used in conjunction with traditional manufacturing processes, such as injection molding giving manufacturers more options in terms of freedom of design and faster time to market with “toolless” production. 

Evonik will start off by developing polyamide 12, PEBA, transparent polyamide, and polymer of the polyamide 6 series. This should result in a reasonable range of the more commonly used 3D printing materials for this process. 

Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions, commented: “The joint development agreement with Evonik allows us to broaden the spectrum of STEP materials to include materials currently accepted by OEMs from additive, but more importantly to debut a whole new set of materials opening up more applications that can take advantage of everything additive manufacturing offers.”

You can read more about Evonik’s materials from its website here.




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