ACEO: mastering Silicone 3D Printing
We were at the Additive Manufacturing America conference when ACEO caught our eye. We had the pleasure of talking with the owners and got a glimpse into their tech. Based in Burghausen Germany, ACEO technologies are delivering 100% silicone 3D printing. We’re pretty excited about their work, and we want to give you an insider look into all of the possibilities of 3D printing with silicone.
ACEO Imagine Printers are the result of a hand-in-hand development of materials, hardware and software at WACKER Chemie AG in Germany. After careful evaluation of all possible methods of 3D printing high-viscous silicone polymers, the “drop-on-demand” technique enables complete design freedom. The printed parts have the same properties in all directions and come in various hardness and colors. This technology enables the manufacturing of individual objects as well as serial production. Integrated functionalities become possible by using water-soluble materials perfectly matched to silicone elastomers.
3D Printing: Properties of Silicone Parts
ACEO’s drop-on-demand technology manufactures objects layer by layer. A typical layer is 0.4 mm due to the viscosity of the silicone polymers. As a consequence, the printed objects are characterized by 4 different surfaces: Bottom surface on the build platform, top surface from the last layer, side walls with layer structure, and the contact surface to support material. Two different support materials are applied leading to more roughness but can then be coated to improve surface appearance. There is complete freedom of design for product designers, but there are some limitations due to the nature of the polymers.
3D Printing Silicone Markets & Applications
3D printing silicone is an emerging technology in additive manufacturing. Because of this, ACEO wants to join forces with designers, partners, and customers to explore the many possibilities of the technology. There are already some industries where ACEO’s silicone printing solves medical needs by providing anatomical models, prosthetic parts, prototyping, and soft robotics.
Silicone 3D printing from ACEO is just the beginning. The ACEO team follows distinct road maps for materials, hardware and software as they steadily grow their capabilities. They now offer clear information on their website, easy CAD uploads, an Open Print Lab for individual training and prototyping, R&D cooperation for transformation innovations and of course, incredible 100% silicone 3D printing. For more information regarding ACEO and their silicone 3D printing technologies, click here.