According to INDMATEC GmbH, the cost of industrial scale 3D printing facilities is a major hurdle to the further adoption of this technology by small and medium size companies. This is a shame, they indicate, given the potential benefits of introducing 3D printing into workflows.
They also note that most commercially available fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers operate with extruders capable of processing material at up to 300° C. For most high performance polymeric materials (especially thermoplastics) with melting points at above 300°C such as PEEK, PTFE, PPSU this means that they cannot be used for fabrication of parts using FDM 3D printers. The introduction of an all-metal hot-end extruder capable of attaining temperatures up to 400 deg. C opens the chance to apply more materials in industry using this 3D technology.
INDMATEC is therefore working hard to provide affordable 3D printing technology making it possible for small and medium-size companies to purchase 3D printers and select from a wide range of technical polymers.