Silica gel is a highly active porous material with stable chemical properties, high adsorption properties, good thermal stability and high mechanical strength. In recent years, this material has also begun to wipe sparks with 3D printing, ceramics and graphene, and is known as the three most promising new 3D printing materials. What is the current status of silicone 3D printing at home and abroad?
The foreign three-dimensional silicone market has developed rapidly:
In October 2014, FrippDesignResearch announced the launch of a 3D printer, the Picsima Silicone 3D Printer, which can be printed on silica gel. The print size is 100 x 100 x 30 mm, the print layer thickness is 0.4 mm, and the hardness of the printed product can be as low as 10 A Shore, which means it can reach an ultra-soft level and can be stretched repeatedly without breaking.
The Picsima process is a process between powder bed 3D printing and photocuring 3D printing. A "material pool" filled with a special silicone oil is sintered or solidified with a catalyst. A quantitative catalyst was sprayed onto the surface of the silicone oil layer using a three-dimensional printer needle extrusion head. Since the catalyst can cure the silica gel quickly, the print does not require support and post treatment at all. Further, a crosslinking agent is also used in the printing process, and the softness of each portion of the printing object varies depending on the crosslinking agent. Finally, this process can also be dyed and printed to produce colored silica gel.
Picsima silicone 3D printers are currently approved by the FDA for use in the medical and food sectors and have been patented. Its room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) medical grade silicone material is widely used in 3D printed prostheses (ear, nose, denture, etc.), medical equipment, consumer electronics and industrial prototypes, and has been approved for use in humans. In fact, Picsima also found that in combination with 3D scanning technology, doctors can use it in the huge breast implant industry.