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The Texas-based 3D printer manufacturer’s claim to fame is its highly engineered HSE series of 3D printers that can operate at 3D print speeds unseen in most other FFF devices. They are able to do so due to the precise engineering of the machine’s motion system, some of which they borrowed from prior experience with high-speed electronics fabrication gear.
But just because the 3D printer’s motion system can rapidly move doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a successful 3D print. You must also have a material and material profile to match.
Slower 3D print speeds are more forgiving, but as you raise the print speed — the speed at which the print head is moving — the material flow must match precisely in order to achieve a fully formed extrusion bead. This is one of the design dilemmas that faced Essentium when they seek to develop a high-speed 3D printer.
Normal 3D print materials may be suddenly discovered to “misbehave” when subjected to extreme scenarios as would be encountered in the Essentium HSE series, and 3D printing might not be as successful.
That’s why Essentium has been developing a set of materials specifically designed for use on their high-speed equipment. These materials, along with their associated print profiles, will successfully 3D print, even at high speeds.
So far, Essentium has produced quite a range of material options, including:
- PLA XTR
- PA (Nylon)
- PA-CF (Carbon fiber infused)
- TPU 74D
- PCTG ESD-safe
- TPU 95A ESD-safe
- TPU 80A ESD-safe
- TPU 74A ESD-safe
- High Temp PA ESD-safe
- TPU 90A Flame Retardant
- TPU 95A Low Friction
- TPU 80A Low Friction
- High-Temperature PA
- High-Temperature PA-CF (Carbon Fiber)
Now the company announced two more to add to their extensive materials collection:
- ULTEM AM9085F
ABS is a very well-known 3D printing material that now joins Essentium’s portfolio. Meanwhile, ULTEM is a powerful material that is high temperature-resistant, chemical resistant and very strong. This makes it ideal for aerospace applications where weight is a challenge.
However, there’s a bit of a twist here. Essentium has taken steps to lower the costs of these materials. This is likely due to the findings in their surveys that indicated 3D printer operators believe the material cost is a significant barrier, and that closed material configurations are no longer desirable.
We’ve learned that the pricing of the ABS material, which turns out to be SABIC CYCOLACTM MG94, will be priced as follows:
- 750g: US$70.95
- 2.5kg: US$235.95
- 5kg: US$471.90
Their new ULTEM material, SABIC ULTEMTM 9085, is priced similarly:
- 750g: US$206.95
- 2.5kg: US$689.95
- 5kg: US$1,379.90
The ULTEM pricing might seem high as compared to the ABS pricing, but you must remember that ULTEM is a specialty material that usually carries an even higher price. It’s a great option for those seeking to print high-performance parts at high speed on Essentium’s HSE series.