Awards 2019

3D printing tested tough: Fillamentum’s Vinyl 303

IA19_Pict_Fillamentum_vinyl_303_Black_Ivo_windowpart_01So you’re looking to speed up your R&D projects by making prototypes or components with a 3D printer, and you need something carbon-fibre strong. Fillamentum’s answer is Vinyl 303, billed as the first PVC material for 3D printers for commercial use.

It has extraordinary properties such as hardness, resistance to high temperatures and chemicals, and it has high tensile strength,” says Katharina Hackhethal, Senior R&D Manager at Westlake Compounds Germany, which includes Fillamentum. “It’s also recyclable and styrene-free.”

Katharina says they tried out a soft and a hard material, and the latter stood the first test. “We just improved on the thermal stability, as the printing process needs high temperatures, and we made it a neutral colour in order to add colour later.

Vinyl 303 is now used by leading companies including Rolls Royce, where it must resist temperatures exceeding 400 Celsius, Katharina says. Other qualities include low moisture absorption, and it’s flame-retardant.

It’s safe for use in electronic equipment prototyping, as well as any application that requires long-term exposure to oils, salts and water. As with all PVC, Vinyl 303 3D printed products should never come into contact with food, or other consumable items, the company says.