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New Z-ESD Material

#SIU_news 2018-02-15 00:00:00

In the field of desktop 3D printers printing from plastic, something new that can change the traditions that have developed in recent years appears very infrequently. This is especially true for printers of the middle and lower price category (about 100 thousand rubles). There, the print quality of printers is gradually improving every year, little by little without a sharp jump, everyone mainly uses the same well-known materials: ABS plastic for strong and durable parts and PLA plastic for large parts that would be bent from ABS plastic or cracked due to its large shrinkage when cooling.

But a sufficiently powerful influence of an external force can shake the current structure, no matter how ancient it may be. And for such an innovative sphere as additive production, an infusion of fresh forces from outside, from those who were not previously participants in this market, it is almost always a commemoration of a new round of qualitative development of technologies.

BOSCH - a leading global provider of technologies and services in the field of automotive and industrial technologies, consumer goods, construction and packaging technologies, has entered into an agreement with the Polish manufacturer of personal 3D printers Zortrax, which, despite their short history, managed very well establish itself all over the world. The main reason for their popularity was the very high print quality, especially of large objects, new algorithms for constructing the substrate and supports, greatly facilitating their removal and preserving the surface quality of the part under the supports, and the highest reliability. For these reasons, BOSCH also selected them for its new prototyping and additive manufacturing center. But the engineers of such a large German company, accustomed to the quality and accuracy of industrial equipment, needed to achieve even more. Therefore, they gladly applied all their many years of experience in manufacturing and operating precision industrial plants and developing fault-tolerant software for them to a small home printer. The result was truly amazing.

Firstly, a new version of the software for the preparation of Z-Suite models was released, in which absolutely all print settings for the printer became available to the user. Previously, Zortrax offered a wide selection of its own materials and ready-made settings profiles for them, for maximum ease of use and stable print quality. Now users have the opportunity, based on these ready-made profiles, to make their own changes to the parameters in order to optimize them for third-party plastics of new varieties.

The second product of this fruitful collaboration was the new printer firmware. It allowed to increase the accuracy of the positioning of the extruder and the material feed, and ensured the quality of vertical and inclined surfaces, unattainable even in industrial FDM printing plants.

And the main novelty was the Z-ESD material, designed specifically for the needs of the production of electronics and instrumentation, but which has become a universal tool in solving almost any 3D printing task.

The first feature of this plastic is that it provides complete protection against electrostatic discharge. This effect is achieved due to the fact that the specific volume resistance of the Z-ESD plastic is from 104 to 109 Ohms. This is very important in the manufacture of cases and mounts for various electronics, since a random discharge of static electricity is often a cause of failure of the assembled device before it is first turned on, and then it is very difficult to find the cause of the failure.

A wider circle of consumers of filament for 3D printing will be interested in another property of the new material - its very low thermal shrinkage. The degree of shrinkage is close to the well-known PLA plastic, but, unlike PLA, the new plastic is not biodegradable, but, on the contrary, boasts its resistance to various aggressive environments (such as acids, alkalis and salts) and durability in almost any conditions .

Add here the fact that the new plastic does not become brittle at low temperatures, and, coupled with low shrinkage, this makes the Z-ESD one of the best options for printing cases or any other large items, without bends and deformations that you plan to operate in harsh conditions, or just leave it outside, in the rain and snow.

And the last, but not least, amazing property of this plastic is that it tolerates machining much better than all other popular plastic grades for personal 3D printers. It does not “shag” when polishing, but smooths off smoothly with fine dust to an absolutely smooth state. After rough grinding, it can even be polished like molded plastic. Due to the high accuracy and print quality of Zortrax printers, after processing the surface becomes perfect even, without pores or visible layers.

In addition, the Z-ESD does not whiten on bends and kinks, and the black parts remain perfectly black even on the surfaces from which the supports were torn off, without any modification.

In all other physical properties, the new plastic is also not inferior to competitors long-known in the market.

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