3D printing solutions manufacturer BCN3D Technologies and global leader in adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings Henkel Adhesive Technologies announced a collaboration to develop formulations for the recently released Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) 3D printing system.
With more than 100 years of expertise in applications across industries under its belt, Henkel is more than qualified in its provision of end-to-end engineering solutions for additive manufacturing (AM), the majority of which is conducted through its well-known brand Loctite. Accordingly, BCN3D will take advantage of the collaboration to bring forth new materials for VLM, thus accelerating its vision of unlocking manufacturing autonomy to grant manufacturers full control over every stage of any production process using AM.
Through working collectively, the unique properties of VLM will be leveraged in order to develop new solutions for high-performance resins. This technology consists of a patented lithography-based 3D printing process that laminates thin layers of high viscosity resins onto a transparent transfer film, producing high-performance parts rapidly and affordably. What distinguishes VLM from other resin technologies on the market is its ability to process resins 50 times more viscous than the industry standard. By eliminating a strict low viscosity constraint, a whole new set of ingredients and modifiers can be added to the resin to achieve the desired effect on thermal and mechanical properties.
The materials currently under development by Henkel and BCN3D cannot yet be fully disclosed; however, one of the primary areas of research is in elastomeric applications – one that is indubitably beneficial from high-viscosity resins. These materials can include a high fraction of oligomers to obtain a loosely crosslinked polymer network: a structure that can flexibly withstand mechanical stresses, act like industrial-grade molded elastomers, and provide improved mechanical properties.
Henkel’s 3D printing resins will be implemented in BCN3D’s new Applications Center, where the VLM Technology Adoption Program is taking place. Participants will join renowned companies Saint Gobain and Prodrive in being the first to discover VLM and experiencing its full potential for themselves with real 3D printed parts, accompanied by individual attention to cater to their exact printing needs.
The very first official highlight of this joint venture will take place at the Rapid event on the 17-19th of May 2022, at Booth 1535, Huntington Place, Detroit, Michigan, where both companies will explain and illustrate the benefits of a collaboration as such, all while showcasing 3D printed parts made with VLM.