Stratasys and Rapid Prototype+Manufacturing (rp+m), an Ohio-based 3D printing service bureau, has produced a comprehensive guide on the engineering-grade ULTEM 9085 resin used in FDM/FFF 3D printing. The ULTEM 9085 Type I Database details the physical and mechanical properties and processing parameters of the material.
It is hoped that the classification of ULTEM 9085 will promote its use in 3D printing interior components for aircraft.
America Makes’ Executive Director, Rob Gorham, said, “The qualification of the ULTEM 9085 material and the establishment of the material properties database by the rp+m-led team are huge steps forward for AM, particularly within the aerospace and defense industries.”
Making ULTEM 9085 soar
America Makes was founded by the U.S. Department of Defense to promote the rapid adoption of additive manufacturing and make the technology an industry standard in the U.S. As such it has published the Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing with American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Established by the Thogus Products, a plastic injection molding company in Ohio, rp+m is one of the founding members of America Makes. rp+m led the project for classifying ULTEM 9085 with Stratasys, whose Fortus machines are known for printing the engineering polymer.
In praising efforts of rp+m, Rob Gorham, said, “On behalf of all of us at America Makes, I want to commend rp+m and its team for enabling the broad dissemination of the collective knowledge of ULTEM 9085 for the innovation of future part design.”
“The ability to use AM to produce parts with repeatable characteristics and consistent quality for certifiable manufacturing is a key factor to the increased adoption of AM within the multi-billion dollar aircraft interior parts segment.”
Other parties involved in the project included the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University, the National Center for Advanced Material Performance (NCAMP), and Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control. Part of the research funding for the project came from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Taking additive forward
America Makes is part of some of the biggest 3D printing projects in the U.S, these include contracts with the U.S. Air Force. In this context, the classification of ULTEM 9085 and its availability to America Makes’ member organizations carries a lot of weight.
Tracy L. Albers, Ph.D., President and CTO of rp+m, said, “The significance of this project for the aerospace industry is tremendous. Our open collaboration with the FAA-funded effort to develop a framework for advanced polymer-based additively manufactured materials, in this case, ULTEM 9085, into the NCAMP process was incredibly successful.”
Albers explained further, “The project examined an extensive and comprehensive set of machine process controls to understand and measure variability. It yielded the creation of the first, public database of its kind to enable the widespread use of additive technologies in the production of aircraft interiors.”
“Now, aerospace engineers have a baseline understanding of how to design for AM and specify AM as an actual manufacturing tool, as well as the assurance that the first AM part and the last AM part are indistinguishable.”
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Featured image shows ULTEM 9085 housings for aerospace parts. Photo via Stratasys.