3D printing with PTFE

3D Printing with PTFE

3M is your singular source for 3D printed PTFE parts. We custom-print short-run fluoropolymer parts with complex geometries beyond the limits of traditional PTFE processing. Connect with a 3M expert and see how our 3D printing process can solve your design needs.

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  • Logo of Formnext in color

    Join us at Formnext, the world’s largest additive manufacturing show.
    Learn how you can bring your design to life with our industry first 3D printed PTFE.

    Frankfurt, Germany
    November 19-22, 2019


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Additive manufacturing with PTFE

Bring your design to life with custom 3D printed PTFE parts

What if you could combine the unique versatility of PTFE with the flexibility of additive manufacturing? As an industry first, 3M can custom-print your PTFE components, opening a wide range of opportunities that are impractical or even impossible using traditional processing techniques. Imagine the possibilities: short production runs of PTFE parts with intricate shapes, miniaturized structures – and unparalleled design freedom. You provide the inspiration and specifications; we’ll print the parts based on your CAD files. As a service bureau, we’ll bring your design to life – using our proven PTFE material, application engineering expertise, and unique custom manufacturing capabilities. See how we can help you turn “what’s possible” into “what’s next.”


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Are you ready to go "3D"?

Start with these simple steps to determine if 3D printed PTFE parts are a good fit for your application.


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Explore the technology

Take a closer look at the properties of 3D printed PTFE, its potential applications, design requirements and more.

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  • Manufacturing Services

    3M will 3D print your parts from PTFE to meet your specifications, and our application engineering team will provide customized technical support.

  • Applications

    Our SLA-based printing technology is best suited for short runs of small, complex parts that aren’t feasible with traditional machining.

  • Our Materials

    We use a tailored formulation of PTFE, a versatile polymer with low friction and excellent chemical and temperature resistance.

  • Physical Properties

    The density, tensile strength and other mechanical properties of 3D printed PTFE parts are comparable to those of conventionally produced PTFE.

  • Technology and Capabilities

    If your application requires PTFE’s unique properties, but your part configuration pushes the limits of traditional processing, our 3D printing process may be the answer.

  • Ordering Process

    Learn how to submit a CAD file for 3M technical experts to evaluate and print, and what factors can affect final part cost and lead time.


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Videos & Resources

See how 3D-printed PTFE parts are reshaping the future of fluoropolymer processing.


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3D Printing News

  • FRANKFURT—November 18, 2019—3M is reshaping the future of fluoropolymers with industry-first 3D printed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) showcased this week at Formnext 2019.

    PTFE is known as a problem-solver, and it is the material of choice for a wide variety of demanding industries and environments. Now, thanks to a revolutionary 3D printing process developed by 3M, it is possible to produce PTFE parts with complex geometries and fine details that are beyond the capabilities of conventional processing techniques.

    “Our industry-first technology has proven to be an incredibly valuable and versatile solution for numerous customer challenges that could not previously be addressed with machined PTFE and similar conventional manufacturing methods,” says Tim Schniepp, 3M’s Advanced Materials’ Additive Manufacturing Business Manager.

    3M’s proprietary technology combines the powerful benefits of both additive manufacturing and PTFE to open new opportunities for customers. Whether it’s creating parts to withstand the most severe chemical processing environments or providing a precise fit for a unique electronics application, customers can bring their designs to life like never before.

    At Formnext, attendees will have the opportunity to see this technology first-hand with examples of where it has already been adopted by customers across industries. They will be able to talk to experts to learn about the capabilities of the technology and ideal applications for 3D printed PTFE parts, as well as get hands-on with 360-degree product visualization models and printed samples.

    For the technology, 3M provides high quality, finished parts, operating as a service bureau and contract manufacturer for prototype, small batch, and serial production of 3D printed parts. The company has engaged numerous leaders across key industries to introduce and validate performance, accepting orders and manufacturing parts for the past year and now has plans to fully commercialize the technology in 2020.

    Beyond 3D printed PTFE, 3M is developing solutions for other additive manufacturing technologies with additional fluoropolymers and high-performance materials set to launch in the coming years.

    To learn more about how 3M is leading the way in fluoropolymer additive manufacturing visit booth C61 located in Hall 11.0 at Formnext in Frankfurt, November 19-22, 2019.

    To learn more before the show visit:

    www.3m.com/3dprinting

    www.3m.co.uk/3dprinting

    www.3m.de/3Dprinting

    About 3M

    Founded in Minnesota, USA, in 1902, the multi-technology corporation 3M is one of the world's most innovative companies. 3M has 93,000 employees in 200 countries and achieved 2018 sales of approximately $33 billion. The basis for its innovative strength is the manifold use of 51 proprietary technology platforms. Today, the portfolio includes more than 55,000 different products for almost every area of life. 3M holds more than 25,000 patents and accounts for around one-third of its sales with products that have been on the market for less than five years.

     

    3M is a trademark of 3M Company.

  • 3M at the Fakuma 2017: Hall B4, Booth 4406

    3D printing with PTFE and lightweight construction solutions with 3M Glass Bubbles

    Together with its subsidiary Dyneon, the multi-technology company 3M will be presenting two trailblazing plastic technologies at this year's industry meeting place, the Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing in Friedrichshafen. Visitors will learn how the additive manufacture with fluoropolymers by mouse-click works and will see exciting applications of 3M Glass Bubbles in plastics.

    3M has developed and applied for a patent for a new technology: for the first time ever, fully fluorinated polymers such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can be processed by means of a 3D printing method. The new process enables the manufacture of components and the integration of several functions in one moulded part – at the click of a mouse and entirely without tools.

    New laboratory printer, new experiments

    Dyneon is working on the additive manufacture of fluoropolymer components at its Burgkirchen site. The company will be demonstrating the current state of research on the additive manufacture with PTFE at the Fakuma. This new additive process will be used for the creation of prototypes and small series with complex geometries for the aerospace and chemical industries, in medical equipment manufacturing and in semiconductor factories.

    A versatile filler: 3M Glass Bubbles

    Spherical, hollow and with a glass shell – these are the three main characteristics of 3M Glass Bubbles that give them their special properties: easy to process, thermally insulating, fast cooling or as a white pigment, to name just a few. There is one thing that 3M Glass Bubbles cannot do, however: being heavy. Therefore, they are ideal for use in the megatrend lightweight construction and can already be found in every fifth car today. At the Fakuma, 3M's Advanced Materials division will show that Glass Bubbles have also proven their value in thermoplastic materials and will promote a better understanding of the filler with useful tools such as the "Weight-Volume Calculator."

    New: Glass Bubbles partner program

    3M is currently setting up a Glass Bubbles partner program. What can the spheres do, how can they be incorporated into thermoplastic matrices with maximum efficiency and what needs to be observed to obtain the desired properties? To provide best possible expertise to customers, these and other questions will be answered in partner training courses in addition to checking the correct processing. The intention is to ensure that processors and end users of 3M Glass Bubbles obtain competent support.

    The 25th edition of the Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastics processing, takes place from 17 to 21 October 2017 in Friedrichshafen. 3M and Dyneon are exhibiting in Hall B4 at Booth 4406.

    About 3M

    At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With over $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com.

    3M and Dyneon are trademarks of the 3M Company.

  • 3D printing of fluoropolymers allows more design freedom

    3M to unveil new 3D printing technology at the K show

    3M has developed a patent-pending technology to 3D print fully fluorinated polymers that will be introduced at the K show in Dȕsseldorf, the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber. This new technology is particularly exciting for PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) applications and is aimed at the Automotive, Chemical Processing, Medical as well as Energy and Aerospace markets.

    The new development, which complements fluoropolymer processing, allows 3D printing as an additional and differentiated way of processing fully fluorinated polymers. In this way the fabrication of complex structures is possible, which otherwise cannot be produced or only produced with expensive traditional processing techniques.

    This flexible new technology, which 3M and its subsidiary Dyneon will introduce for the first time, paves the way for the production of polymer structures in a single processing step rather than moulding and assembling component parts.

    The new development allows for 3D printing of spare parts and customised designs with a complex geometry on demand without needing to use expensive traditional processing techniques. Using this method, 3M is pioneering the 3D printing of PTFE that is used in a wide range of applications such as sealing and lining.

    Stereolithography is the chosen process

    3M has selected stereolithography, also known as Vat Polymerization, as the Additive Manufacturing process method for PTFE and other fully fluorinated polymers. The printed parts show similar physical properties to those produced using traditional processing techniques. Stereolithography involves the curing or solidification of a photosensitive material using an irradiation light source. Typical tailor-made formulations used for 3D printing fully fluorinated polymers by stereolithography contain in addition to fully fluorinated polymers a binder and optional additives. The three processing steps required are aqua gel formation, drying and removal of the binder during heat treatment. This method can be used for PTFE compounds, too.

    More freedom of design

    "This additional new manufacturing process for fully fluorinated polymers will benefit a wide range of industries, such as Automotive, Chemical Processing, Medical and Aerospace by accelerating product design cycles and allowing more freedom of design," says Paula Johnson-Mason, Global Director Fluoropolymers.

    "3D printing is developing at a rapid pace and will deliver increased flexibility and productivity for industrial markets. That way spare parts and customised designs can be manufactured digitally on demand without the need to create new tools."

    Please visit our booth at the K show: Hall 5, booth B10.

    About 3M

    3M is a science-based company with a culture of creative collaboration that inspires powerful technologies, making life better. With $32 billion in sales, 3M employs 90,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNewsroom on Twitter

    3M and Dyneon are trademarks of the 3M Company.

  • Patent-pending solution for 3D printing from 3M
    3D printing complements fluoropolymer processing

    3M has developed a patent-pending technology to 3D print fully fluorinated polymers. This technology allows 3D printing as an additional and differentiated way of processing fully-fluorinated polymers. In this way the fabrication of complex structures is possible, which otherwise cannot be produced or only produced with expensive traditional processing techniques. 3M is pioneering 3D printing with PTFE.

    Commonly known as 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing is the key term for directly manufacturing three-dimensional physical objects layer by layer using digital information. Print-on-demand solutions for fluoropolymer based spare parts and custom parts with complex geometry are potential articles to be 3D printed. The technology is particularly exciting for the fluoropolymer PTFE.

    This flexible new technology, which 3M and its subsidiary Dyneon will introduce at the K show in Dusseldorf for the first time, paves the way for the production of polymer structures in a single processing step rather than moulding and assembling component parts. The development also makes it possible to 3D print spare parts and customised designs on demand without needing to use expensive traditional processing techniques.

    As part of the development, 3M is pioneering the 3D printing of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) which is used in a wide range of applications such as sealing and lining.

    3D printing developing at a rapid pace.

    "3D printing is developing at a rapid pace and is opening up a number of exciting developments for the manufacturing of fully-fluorinated polymers, particularly for PTFE which is a real quantum leap,” says Paula Johnson-Mason, Global Director Fluoropolymers. “This additional new manufacturing process will give us increased flexibility and accelerate product design cycles as spare parts can be manufactured digitally without the need to create new tools."

    Better for the environment

    The new technology also offers a more sustainable manufacturing solution due to potential material savings and a reduction in waste. This is achieved as the traditional method for creating prototype parts from PTFE creates significant waste. With 3D printing, however, waste is minimal and unused material can be used for subsequent printing jobs.

    Please visit our booth at the K show: Hall 5, booth B10.

    About 3M

    3M is a science-based company with a culture of creative collaboration that inspires powerful technologies, making life better. With $32 billion in sales, 3M employs 90,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNewsroom on Twitter

    3M and Dyneon are trademarks of the 3M Company.

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