Wacker opens first United States rubber silicone 3D printing lab

Wacker has opened its first United States-based ACEO Open Print Lab, equipped with two 3D printers for the process of silicone rubber with varying shore hardnesses and colours.

The company first announced the plans last September, explaining the expansion into Ann Abor, MI would support the growth of its ACEO 3D printing footprint and further the global network for silicone rubber 3D printing.

Emulating Wacker’s ACEO Open Print Lab in Burghausen, Germany, the facility will offer hands-on tutorials and training to enable customers to experience 3D printing with silicone rubber first hand.

“We are pleased to announce another milestone in ACEO’s history with the launch of the Open Print Lab in Ann Arbor,” commented Dr. Bernd Pachaly, Head of Project 3D Printing at Wacker Silicones. “North America is one of the leading markets in additive manufacturing. Our new facility brings 3D printing with silicones much closer to potential customers in the region.”

The new lab will be headed by Sarah Burke, who previously worked at the Silicones R&D Center in fundamental product research for construction applications and consumer care. It will house ACEO 3D printing technology, which the company says can be harnessed for prototyping, serial manufacturing or the production of replacement parts. Workshops will be accessible to small groups up to four, who will go through personalised training sessions designed per their pre-defined expectations and targets. The workshop will consist of theoretical lessons and practical printing sessions, going from the basics of additive manufacturing to advanced design.

“Our business partners in the region want to understand how their ideas and products can be brought to market with our support,” explained Ian Moore, Vice President, Wacker Silicones, Wacker Chemical Corporation in Adrian, MI. “Wacker’s Silicone R&D Center in Ann Abor was designed to develop advanced and forward-looking solutions for silicones. With the new Open Print Lab, we can significantly expand our local portfolio and contribute to the growing demand of the market.”

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