Chromatic develops a new “Smooth-Mode” technology for 3D printing ultra-smooth rubber parts

Chromatic’s RX-AM™ materials and technology platform is shown here 3D printing smooth polyurethane grommets with Smooth-Mode.

Chromatic 3D Materials, a provider of 3D printing technologies, has developed the technology ” Smooth-Mode for 3D printing durable rubber parts with ultra-smooth surfaces. This new solution would allow industrial manufacturers to 3D print smooth, high-quality polyurethane parts, such as seals, gaskets, grommets, bladders and other elastomeric products, without post-processing or surface finishing.

Sealing requires a smooth surface, but 3D printed parts have always exhibited layer lines or roughness. We have developed a way to easily and cost-effectively 3D print ultra-smooth products without additional steps. It is a breakthrough for 3D printing professional applications that need to be airtight and waterproof“, said Dr. Cora LeibigCEO and founder of Chromatic.

Parts printed with Smooth-Mode technology exhibit superior aesthetics as well as finer dimensional accuracy. For example, products can be printed with precise uniform thickness at the sub-millimeter scale. This new technology is therefore suitable for the manufacture of rubber bladders and other elastomeric products that expand and contract.

Chromatic’s team of additive manufacturing experts first achieved ultra-smooth prints by fine-tuning the viscosity and surface tension of the company’s printable thermoset polyurethane materials. ” We have developed a way to go beyond simply applying our reaction technology to FDM printing. Smooth-Mode uses chemistry to create an ultra-bonded, smooth part. We believe this printing technique provides the smoothest printing in the world along the Z axis, or height”explained Dr. Bart EngendahlManaging Director of Chromatic in Germany.

Industrial manufacturers can take advantage of Smooth-Mode with Chromatic’s RX-AM™ technology and materials platform. A 3-in-1 platform, RX-AM™ includes materials, software and hardware for deposition printing with reactive chemistry. RX-AM™, or reactive extrusion additive manufacturing, uses printable polyurethanes whose hardness Shore A ranges from 50 to 90, as well as custom grades with varying colors, hardnesses and special properties (eg antibacterial, static discharge, biocides, etcetera). The platform is designed for commercial volume printing.

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