Dr Diana Garcia-Alonso, Print Process Architect
One of the main advantages of FFF printing is the vast variety of materials that can potentially be processed by this technology. Engineering materials such as glass-/carbon-filled materials, polyamides, pure PET, high temperature TPEs, and functional materials like tribological, ESD, and metal -filled material are already available. However, the performance of the printed parts is quite often far from expectations as there is still room for improvement from the materials, print strategy, and hardware sides. This is due partly to a causality dilemma: grades of polymers available are downgraded because there is no hardware that can process them optimally, and hardware manufacturers do not develop adequate products because there are no materials they need to be optimized for. The insufficient CAD-to-CAM integration also plays a big role.
In the last year, however, the vicious circle is starting to break and Ultimaker plays an important role thanks to its open material strategy and the creation of a marketplace open to all chemical companies. In addition, these alliances with chemical companies are proving especially insightful to direct our current hardware development towards the future requirements of the customers, in term of materials and applications.
In this presentation, we will go through some of the steps Ultimaker has taken to contribute to breaking this vicious circle and open 3D printing up for optimized part performance. You will see some successful applications using engineering (functional) materials from companies who have joined the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program.
Speaker Biography (Diana Garcia-Alonso)
Diana Garcia-Alonso has a PhD and 15 years of experience in material processing for different applications within the fields of aeronautics, biomedical, photovoltaics, and additive manufacturing. Since 2015 Diana has been playing a key role in material processing research for FFF world leader Ultimaker.
Company Profile (Ultimaker B.V.)
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Ultimaker B.V. (UM) is a Dutch manufacturer of professional desktop 3D printers. It is one of the leading brands in this industry. The company currently has over 350 employees (located in NL, USA and Asia), with close to 100 people in R&D and production in the Netherlands and the USA. Ultimaker has global coverage with a worldwide sales network of over 200 resellers.