Zortrax unveils full metal packages and Victrex PAEK AM 200 FIL

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax has introduced two comprehensive packages committed to metal 3D printing, Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH and Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L, as well as a low-melt VICTREX PAEK AM 200, compatible with the Zortrax Endureal industrial 3D printer. Because it has a lower melting point than PEEK, this filament can be extruded at lower temperatures.

Each Zortrax Full Metal Package contains “everything users need to get started with metal 3D printing”, including either BASF Ultrafuse 316L or BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH – metal-polymer filaments from its partner, BASF Forward AM. VICTREX AM 200 low-melt PAEK filament is a high-performance polymer within the same thermoplastics family as Z-PEEK that provides comparable, or even “superior”, 3D printing results in some areas, says the company.

“When using metallic powder filaments for metal 3D printing, micro-cracks or brittle spots on the models are the common issues users struggle with. The reason is usually the improper inner structure, which prevents the target items from preserving all the properties desired for metal. Being aware of that, we focused on creating the solution, ensuring that models have the right structure, allowing them to be applied just like regular steel. We succeeded, as it is obtained on Zortrax Endureal during the very printing process,” said Michał Siemaszko, Head of the Research and Development Department at Zortrax. “Moreover, our new Zortrax Full Metal Packages come together with, amongst other elements, high-quality metal-polymer filaments by BASF Forward AM, and a voucher for professional post-processing in Elnik Systems GmbH, where the 3D prints undergo proprietary catalytic debinding and sintering processes.” 

VICTREX AM 200 is a new high-performance polymer compatible with the Zortrax Endureal 3D printer. Image via Zortrax.
VICTREX AM 200 is a new high-performance polymer compatible with the Zortrax Endureal 3D printer. Image via Zortrax.

How does this new material package serve the customers?

“VICTREX AM 200 has greater strength in the Z-axis than PEEK and comparable strength in the X and Y axes. All the other parameters are similar to those of PEEK. PAEK, however, is much easier to print. This high-performance polymer is a great choice for 3D printing heavy-duty parts that can replace metal components in aviation, marine, advanced engineering, or oil industries. PAEK can also be successfully used when 3D printing load-bearing components, elements of tools, structural frames, or parts that must withstand high temperatures,” said Dawid Piastowski, Materials Development Leader at Zortrax.

The Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L contains BASF Ultrafuse 316L, a filament of 80% 316L stainless steel and 20% polymer. 316L is surgical-grade stainless steel with a chromium content of more than 10%. When this chemical element comes into contact with oxygen, it forms a thin coating layer over the model’s surface, safeguarding it from corrosion. The parts 3D printed with BASF Ultrafuse 316L have up to 561 MPa tensile strength, 251 MPa yield strength, up to 53% elongation at break, and a non-magnetic microstructure. These characteristics make this metal-polymer filament ideal for 3D printing complex end-use parts, automotive parts, medical equipment, chemical pipes or valves, tool, and fixture elements, and various functional prototypes.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH comprises BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH, an industrial composite filament made up of 80% 17-4 hardened steel and 20% polymer. Models 3D printed with this filament have 1004 MPa tensile strength, yield strength of 764 MPa, break elongation of up to 4%, and a magnetic microstructure. BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH can be used effectively for all elements requiring substantial hardness, such as chemical pipes or valves.

Furthermore, these packages include BASF Ultrafuse Support Layer, which guarantees the preferred geometry of the printed parts during the 3D printing and post-processing stages, Magigoo Pro Metal adhesive that offers reliable adhesion during printing, an extra hotend module with brass nozzles for Zortrax Endureal, and a professional post-processing voucher in Elnik company (BASF’s trusted partner in Germany), where 3D prints undergo critical sintering and debinding processes to achieve all the characteristics of steel.

Brackets 3D printed with VICTREX AM 200 on the left and with Z-PEEK on the right. Image via Zortrax.
Brackets 3D printed with VICTREX AM 200 on the left and with Z-PEEK on the right. Photo via Zortrax.

Metal additive manufacturing materials compatible with FDM systems

Previously, French materials manufacturer Nanovia announced the release of two 3D printing filaments. Nanovia Mt Inox 316L is the company’s novel stainless steel 316L filament, intended for use with extrusion-based 3D printers, while the Nanovia Cr SiC is a ceramic silicon carbide offering. The filaments are designed to enable dense ceramic and metal parts on standard FDM systems, and they will be functional via a final sintering step for additional part density. Consumers are able to machine their Nanovia 3D printed parts prior to use, enhancing dimensional precision and surface quality.

Furthermore, The Virtual Foundry made metal 3D printing accessible to anyone with an FDM printer. Filamet, the company’s line of sinterable FDM metal filaments, made its vision a reality. Tricia Suess, The Virtual Foundry’s President said, “It’s quite thrilling to be on the front edge of metal 3D printing technology. Brad and his team have developed something here that changes how work is done. Our innovative people have created a product within an open architecture that increases the efficiencies of current work systems and expands the value of our customers’ product offerings.”

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Feature image shows VICTREX AM 200 is a new high-performance polymer compatible with the Zortrax Endureal 3D printer. Image via Zortrax.