Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) is a high-performance, colorless polymer thermoplastic semi-crystalline, resistant to many chemicals and featuring excellent mechanical properties. PEEK is used in medical implants, aerospace, and motorsports applications.
But until recently, PEEK has only been used in 3D printing via Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) processes as it melts at a very high temperature, around 662º F.
In the SLS process, a layer of PEEK powder is deposited onto a print bed and then a laser is used to fuse the powder into the layers of a desired object. A fresh layer of powder is deposited and fused, and the un-sintered powder surrounding the object can be used as support material.
Now INDMATEC GmbH, developers of innovative materials for FDM 3D printing in industrial production, say they’ve found a way to create a PEEK filament for use in FDM applications. The firm, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, says they’ve extruded raw PEEK into quality filament form which can be 3D printed using FDM technology.
The team at INDMATEC, CEO Tony Tran-Mai, CTO Professor Brando Okolo of the German University in Cairo and Lars Pfotzer, a Robotics Automation and FDM 3D printing expert, formed their company in September 2013. Tran-Mai and Brando met after they served as speakers on a research project in 3D printing, and Pfotzer came on board shortly thereafter.