Additive Manufacturing with Silicone Rubbers



Additive manufacturing (AM) with silicone rubbers requires development as there only early-stage commercial services available. Given the right material supplier, it is possible to establish cold-extrusion-based silicone printing facilities in-house. This presentation will illustrate how a custom printer was built, featuring cold-extrusion-based silicone rubber printing and fused filament fabrication.

Laszlo Jaksa, Researcher at ACMIT Gmbh, will discuss his research where he compared the performance of three printable silicon rubber materials, using fused filament fabrication as a benchmark. He will demonstrate how extrusion-based silicone printing enables tuning macroscopic mechanical properties of printed objects via infill structuring and illustrate how it can be combined with fused filament fabrication for hard support or fiber reinforcements, allowing further control.

Laszlo also investigated opportunities for tuning mechanical properties and the applicability of the technology in medical education and research. His findings showed that cold-extrusion-based silicone rubber printing is comparable to fused filament fabrication when printing unsupported overhangs, but it is more limited concerning maximal printable bridge length.

Laszlo will examine how the combination of the two technologies offers a large extent of control over the macroscopic mechanical properties of printed objects and a promising outlook in applications where soft objects with controlled mechanical properties are required.