Prodways shows new plastic material and metal forging

Prodways used last week’s Formnext to show off a new plastic material, PA612-GB 3800, the first PA6-12T plastic powder on the 3D printing laser sintering market. It’s been designed for production of small and medium final parts rather than prototyping.

Prodways shows off parts produced with the new PA612-GB3800 material on its stand at Formnext 2017.

This follows the strategic partnership that Prodways signed last year with A. Schulman, which supplies high-performance plastic compounds and composite materials used in many industries. This PA612-GB 3800 powder is the first material from this partnership.

PA612T is a class of rigid plastics that offer good impact resistance and a capacity to withstand high temperatures, while having low sensitivity to moisture absorption, unlike some PA6 materials, meaning that it will retain most of its performance over time. Essentially, this new material is a ter-polymer with glass bead filler that combines elements of PA6 and PA12. It’s isotropic and shows good vibration resistance

The new PA612-GB 3800 powder is said to produce high performance mechanical properties, even with complex geometrical structures such as fuel circuits or pump bodies that are difficult to make with conventional injection techniques. Prodways believes that its properties make it an ideal candidate to replace machined metal parts in production for things like casings, the top parts of motors or ballast systems.

Prodways also showed off a new metal forging approach, Rapid Additive Forging, or RAF for 3D metal printing of large titanium parts. As part of this process, Prodways is developing a new metal printer though it’s selling RAF as an on-demand service for now while its continuing to develop the printing process. I understand that the plan is to start selling the machine itself in 2019, though it is said to be quite a big machine.

Prodways has produced metal parts up to 70cm long but is working to develop a version capable of producing parts up to 2 metres long.

This titanium part has been 3D printed as part of Prodways’ rapid additive forging process…

Prodways, which is itself a part of Groupe Gorgé, has worked with Commercy Robotique, another subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé that has specialized in robotised welding for more than 40 years. The RAF process uses a robot equipped with a head depositing molten metal in an atmosphere of inert gas. The metal is deposited layer by layer taking a few hours for larger parts. But rather than making finishing parts the main benefit of the process is that it can quickly produce blanks with a similar geometry to the final part, which can then be machined to the final part. This is said to be up to 10x quicker not to mention less wasteful than a traditional machining process. Prodways’ Marketing and communication manager, Cindy Mannevy, points out: “It’s faster than other 3D printers if you count the whole process.”

…Here the RAF part has been finished conventionally.

The process is said to be suitable for half of all titanium parts used in aircraft manufacture and could cut those costs by half. Moreover, Prodways claims that its metal deposition technology produces a very high metallurgical quality with good repeatability and better mechanical resistance than some other 3D metal printing techniques.

This is clearly a work in progress though the parts that were on the Prodways stand at Formnext showed promise. No doubt we’ll hear more about this during the course of 2018.





Syndicate content

You can license the articles from Printing and Manufacturing Journal to reproduce in other publications. I generally charge around £150 per article but I’m open to discussing this for each title, particularly for publishers that want to use multiple stories. I can provide high res versions of images for print publications.

I’m used to working with overseas publishers and am registered for VAT with the UK’s HMRC tax authority but obviously won’t charge VAT to companies outside the UK. You can find further details and a licensing form from this page, or just contact me directly here.

Support this site

If you find the stories here useful then please consider making a donation to help fund Printing and Manufacturing Journal, either as a one-off or a repeat payment. Journalism is only really useful if it’s truly independent and this is the only such news source serving the print/ manufacturing sectors.

However, there are costs involved in travelling to cover events, as well as maintaining this site, not to mention the time that it takes to carry out research, check facts and interview people. So if you value this work, then please help to maintain it and keep it free to read.


Never miss a story – subscribe to Printing and Manufacturing Journal to receive an email notification every time an article is published here. It’s completely free of charge and you can cancel the subscription at any point without any hassle. There’s no need to provide any information other than an email address and subscribers details are not for sale so there’s no risk of any further marketing spam.

Related stories


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *