3D printing is changing the future of manufacturing, enabling users to create customised parts that are functional. These machines are used for an infinite number of applications and have the potential to be used within many industries including construction, pharmaceutical, space exploration, engineering, automotive and communications amongst others already employing 3D printing technology.
HP have developed their highly flexible Jet Fusion 3D printer for the production of prototypes and functional parts at up to 10 times faster than current 3D printers(1). It enables the printing of multiple components at once.
This precise machine has many integral parts and one of the challenges HP’s design team faced was to seal off different components of the printer from a powder used during the printing process.
HP chose to work with Advanced Materials because Silicone was the ideal material to use in their application and our technical team were able to provide immediate solutions and help manufacture the most suitable silicone rubber gaskets for protecting against powder escaping and contamination.
The Problem HP Faced
To enable intricate 3D printing to take place, the HP Jet Fusion 3D printer uses a very fine powder. This powder can easily pass through gaps and either escape completely or penetrate into parts of the machine where it doesn’t belong.
HP needed seals with a perfectly designed profile in order to seal off different parts of the printer. Precise gaskets were needed to ensure this very fine powder didn’t escape or contaminate the machine.
Our dedicated technical team were able to provide gasket design options and hold tight tolerances to the gaskets which were critical in the operation of the machine.
Why Silicon Rubber was the Ideal Material for the Job
One of the main requirements for the seals was resistance to high temperatures and moving parts. We were able to supply different grades of silicone rubber that could more than handle the requirements of this machine.
Our range of silicone rubber compounds are versatile enough to withstand these demands and have been successfully implemented within the printer. Advanced Materials have the capabilities to hold critical tolerances to the silicone profiles which are essential to the printer’s function.
HP needed to make sure each seal conformed to the strict criteria they required and chose to work with our ISO9001/2008 accredited manufacturing processes to meet this need.
How Advanced Materials worked with HP
A fast turnaround time and very high production standards from Advanced Materials led HP to make the decision to work with us. The extensive in-house capabilities including compounding silicone materials, 2D and 3D design, CNC and wire erosion machining facilities, tight tolerance extrusion processing, vulcanising presses for gasket forming and new investment in post curing ovens which increased our manufacturing capacity meant we could meet HP’s very specific needs.
These facilities plus a highly experienced and skilled workforce mean we can produce prototypes within 7 days and finished gasket prototypes within 14 days. We are very proud to have been able to meet all of HP’s exacting requirements and look forward to building on the relationship whilst increasing our services in the future.
With the demand for cutting edge technology like 3D printers on the rise, our team at Advanced Materials are very pleased to be able to offer the quality, versatility and quick turnaround times required to help with product designs such as this.
To see how we can help you with a silicone rubber application, call 01903 713566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively visit our website www.siliconerubberextrusions.co.uk