Chromatic 3D Materials announces Smooth-Mode technology for 3D printing rubber parts

Chromatic 3D Materials has developed a technology that delivers ‘ultra-smooth’ 3D printed rubber parts.

In what the company believes is a breakthrough development, manufacturers are able to additively manufacture smooth, high-quality polyurethane parts with no post-processing or surface finishing with Smooth-Mode technology.

Smooth-Mode can be utilised by users via Chromatic’s Reactive Extrusion Additive Manufacturing (RX-AM) 3-in-1 platform, which includes materials, software and hardware for deposition printing with reactive chemistry. RX-AM uses printable polyurethanes with Shore A hardness ranging from 50 to 90, as well as custom grades with varying colours, hardnesses and special properties such as static discharge.

Parts printed with Smooth-Mode are said to have superior aesthetics and finer dimensional accuracy. Chromatic 3D Materials says products can be printed with precise uniform thickness at sub-millimetre scale, making it suitable for the manufacture of rubber bladders and other elastomeric products that expand and contract. Other potential applications include seals, gaskets, and grommets.

“Sealing requires a smooth surface, but 3D printed parts have always had layer lines or roughness. We have developed a way to easily and cost-effectively 3D print products that are ultra-smooth without additional steps,” commented Dr. Cora Leibig, Chromatic CEO and founder. “It’s a breakthrough for 3D printing those professional applications that must be alright and watertight.”

“We developed a way to go beyond simply applying our reaction technology to FDM printing,” added Dr. Bart Engendahl, Chromatic’s Managing Director in Germany. “Smooth-Mode uses chemistry to create an ultra-bonded and smooth part. We believe this printing technique delivers the world’s smoothest printing along the Z or height axis.”

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