BCN3D Technologies, a manufacturer of 3D printing solutions, and Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a global leader in adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings, announced a collaboration to develop formulations for the recently released Viscous Lithography Manufacturing or VLM 3D printing technology. This official announcement is the latest step in the two teams’ ongoing partnership, which began in 2020.
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, having more than 100 years of expertise in applications across industries. As a result of the collaboration, BCN3D will use new materials for VLM, accelerating its vision of unlocking manufacturing autonomy to give manufacturers full control over every stage of any production process using AM.
VLM 3D Printing Technology
Working collaboratively, the unique properties of VLM™ will be leveraged to develop new high-performance resin solutions. This technology is based on a patented lithography-based 3D printing process that laminates thin layers of high viscosity resins onto a transparent transfer film, resulting in high-performance parts that can be produced quickly and affordably. VLM 3D printing technology differs from other resin technologies on the market in that it can process resins that are 50 times more viscous than the industry standard. By removing the requirement for a low viscosity, a completely 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 being developed by Henkel and BCN3D cannot be fully disclosed; however, one of the primary areas of research is in elastomeric applications, which are undeniably advantageous from high-viscosity resins. These materials can contain a high proportion of oligomers, resulting in a loosely crosslinked polymer network that can flexibly withstand mechanical stresses, act like industrial-grade moulded elastomers, and provide improved mechanical properties.
“BCN3D has unveiled a groundbreaking technology that enables printing high viscosity resins. Thermal & mechanical properties are enhanced by additives that typically increase the viscosity of the resins, which in other cases makes them more difficult to print. The BCN3D team has developed a novel technology that removes the limitations of viscosity and allows the printing of a wide range of new materials which we have witnessed firsthand over the last few years of collaboration. We look forward to seeing the tremendous impact VLM technology brings to the additive market together with new Henkel Industrial resins.”– Sam Bail, Director of 3D Printing & Partnerships at Henkel
Henkel’s 3D printing resins will be used in the VLM Technology Adoption Program at BCN3D’s new Applications Center. Participants will join renowned companies Saint Gobain and Prodrive in being the first to discover VLM and experience its full potential for themselves with real 3D printed parts, accompanied by personalised attention to meet their specific printing requirements.
“BCN3D is very excited to announce this collaboration with Henkel, and it represents a significant milestone in the history of VLM. The VLM Technology Adoption Program is showing us the potential of VLM technology and how it can help companies to overcome their current limitations. There is no doubt that this technology combined with new customer-targeted formulations will fulfill the needs of the AM sector.”– Xavier Martínez Faneca, CEO of BCN3D
The first official highlight of this collaboration will take place on the 17th and 19th of May 2022, at Booth 1535, Huntington Place, Detroit, Michigan, where both companies will explain and illustrate the benefits of such a collaboration, all while showcasing 3D printed parts made with VLM.
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