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Polyacetal Filament Delivers Formaldehyde-free 3D-Printing Capability

Image: Jabil 3D-printed parts using Jabil PA0600 filament
Material innovation from Jabil eliminates harmful fumes from overheating of filament.

Jabil Inc. has developed a polyacetal (POM) resin-based 3D-printing filament that delivers the strength and stiffness required for demanding aerospace, automotive, and industrial manufacturing applications. This latest advance from Jabil Engineered Materials was created, formulated, and produced at the company’s Minnesota-based Materials Innovation Center for use in traditional and additive manufacturing.

“We’re building upon Jabil’s legacy in materials science to improve existing polymers or create new ones at the molecular level to benefit our customers,” said Matt Torosian, Additive Product Management Director, Jabil. “Our focus on innovation led to the discovery of our PA 0600 filament, which has a unique formulation with polyacetal attributes but without potentially dangerous formaldehyde emissions associated with overheating.”

According to a March 2021 Jabil survey on 3D-printing technology trends, additive manufacturing adoption is increasing significantly, especially in the production of critical manufacturing jigs, fixtures, and tooling, as well as moving prototypes into production and scaling the manufacture of production parts. Nearly 50% of respondents to the survey expect their use of 3D printing for production parts to double over the next three to five years. Additionally, 90% of those polled use plastics for 3D printing, up from 74% just two years ago.

The versatile Jabil PA 0600 filament is well suited for a variety of applications as the material exhibits high stiffness, dimensional stability, and good wear resistance, as well as low-friction, self-lubricating characteristics. The new filament delivers high levels of smoothness and durability, typically required in the production of gears, bearings and rollers; jigs, fixtures and tooling; and work-holding devices, posts, and nests. Additionally, the material simplifies post-print machining, including fly cuts, thread taps, and heat stakes.

Moreover, Jabil PA 0600 filament provides enhanced functionality typically associated with DuPont’s Delrin polyacetal plastic or alternative POM materials without the risk of exposure to formaldehyde emissions when the material is overheated. The Jabil PA 0600 filament has been formulated without formaldehyde, so there is no release of noxious odors or fumes during processing. This offers product designers greater flexibility, speed, and safety in developing complex parts that must be resistant to fatigue, friction, and abrasion, said Jabil.

More than 50% of those polled in the recent survey cited lengthy material development cycles as a major challenge, up from 27% two years earlier. To accelerate the availability of specialized materials, Jabil Engineered Materials’ chemists, materials scientists, and additive manufacturing experts have developed filaments, powders, pellets, and custom materials featuring unique and enhanced properties.

“Jabil PA 0600 filament is an exciting, engineered material advancement, offering a viable Delrin alternative with the durability and strength needed for a wide range of additive manufacturing applications,” said Bas de Jong, VP Market Development, Materials & Strategic Partnerships at Ultimaker. “Previous materials from Jabil that are already available in the Ultimaker Marketplace in Ultimaker Cura offer users first-time right results and peace of mind while printing on our 3D printers and using the printed applications.”

The Jabil PA 0600 filament is featured in the Ultimaker Marketplace in Ultimaker Cura 3D printing software and is available through DigiKey.

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