In 2015, leading chemical company Wacker Chemie (München Germany) introduced its 3D printing solution for silicones under the trademark ACEO Brand. Using drop-on-demand inkjet, the technology was able to design so-called “impossible objects” in silicone for the first time. Today, ACEO has introduced multi-material capabilities to its proprietary silicone solution. Dr. Bernd Pachaly, Head of Project 3D Printing at the company, referred to it as “yet another milestone in ACEO’s history.”
The ability to 3D print with more than one material at any give time means that items made using ACEO technology can be designed with graded properties and colours. “Silicones of different colours, hardness or even chemical or physical properties, can now be placed independently from each other at any given point throughout the process,” Pachaly explained. “This allows sharp as well as merging gradients. The result is even more freedom of design in the construction of objects with multiple materials 3D printed in one single process – in particular soft and hard segments. The most interesting aspect for me is that it allows integrated functionality – such as electrical conductivity.”
With the new multi-material solution, ACEO can 3D print both conductive and insulating silicones in a single operation, eliminating the need for assembly.