One factor that will determine the success of 3D printing technologies in manufacturing processes will be materials. Without materials that are usable by additive processes and that have the properties needed for various engineering designs, additive technologies will be niche players in manufacturing.
The need for qualified materials is well known in the additive community. And a number of companies have stepped in to fulfill that need. Jabil is announcing its entry into this field– Jabil Engineered Materials.
Jabil says this is “a complete solution for creating, integrating and validating custom engineered materials for additive manufacturing.” One of the goals, noted John Dulchinos, vice president of digital manufacturing, Jabil, is to drive further adoption of 3D printing to produce highly functional parts.
According to a 2019 survey of 3D printing stakeholders sponsored by Jabil, more than half of the 300 survey participants reported that the cost and availability of materials is an obstacle for increasing 3D printing adoption within their organizations.
To address this issue, “Jabil is taking advantage of its rich history in materials science innovation to advance the entire additive manufacturing market forward and produce custom materials in weeks—not months,” said Dulchinos.
Jabil looks to transform additive manufacturing applications, including those in heavily regulated industries, such as aerospace, automotive, industrial and healthcare.
Jabil will evaluate, qualify and validate materials alongside certified machines and processes as part of an integrated MPM solution that matches specific part performance with application requirements. The goal is to ensure greater availability of unique materials while reducing time-to-market and cost to produce high quality parts. Additionally, specific materials will be optimized for multiple 3D printers.
Jabil opened a Materials Innovation Center in Minnesota to deliver 3DP solutions under one roof, encompassing polymer formulations, compound development and ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) certification. Here, additive manufacturing engineers, chemists, materials scientists and production experts consult with customers and oversee each step of making custom powders and filaments.
The rapid iteration and certified production of these engineered materials should speed additive prototyping and production for customers. Value-added attributes of materials include, but aren’t limited to, reinforced, flame retardant, conductive, lubricated, Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) and other engineered characteristics.
A range of services also are available, including compounding, extrusion and powder creation as well as system integration on standard, open source platforms supported by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and High-Speed Sintering (HSS) equipment.
Jabil Engineered Materials will be available starting this month through distribution partners, including Chase Plastics and Channel Prime Alliance. Print profiles for Jabil Engineered Materials also will be available through Ultimaker Cura software with links to Jabil’s distribution partners.