The well-known Dutch company Philips has just obtained a patent that describes the formulation necessary to make a kind of silicone filament for 3D printers with which any user could make transparent parts for, this is the use that they want to give it in Philips, lighting products.
We are specifically talking about the patent WO 2016/134972 and in it, as you can see if you click on the link, the method of making silicone-based objects. It speaks of a solution based on the deposition of drops through the injectors, similar in terms of operation to those present in an ink printer, which are subsequently radiated with ultraviolet light to start the polymerization process of the mixture. .
Philips is already working on the launch of a new transparent silicone filament.
As explained, it must be taken into account that this first polymerization step present in the Philips patent is not complete although it does give the material enough consistency to continue depositing upper layers. After this step, a second polymerization must be carried out, this time by adding heat, through which the object is completely solid, maintaining silicone properties such as its transparency, chemical and thermal resistance, electrical insulation or elasticity. .
At the moment the truth is that silicone is a material that is not being used much in 3D printing due to the difficulties that its use presents. With this patent, Philips introduces a possible solution when working with this material based on the use of small amounts that, when cured by UV light, only achieve sufficient gelatinous consistency to continue introducing new layers to the object for, already in later steps , proceed to a thermal curing which is what gives consistency to everything. Without a doubt, a more than interesting bet that offers a new use to this type of materials.