Newly developed selective self-adhesive silicone rubbers can be co-molded with nylons, polycarbonates, and PBT-type polyesters, creating new design opportunities in medical devices and cars. “These materials can eliminate assembly operations for needle-less IV valves,” comments Eric Bishop of Shin-Etsu Silicones. The new materials’ combinations are also replacing gum rubber in automotive applications. Bishop spoke at Molding 2008 in San Francisco. The materials are called selective because they don’t adhere to steel.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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