Italy-based Weerg, an e-commerce company specialised in CNC machining and 3D printing, has become one of the first companies in Italy to process PA11, a castor-oil based polyamide, in industrial volumes, ‘using reliable and tested printers’, claims Matteo Rigamonti, CEO and founder of Weerg.
Until recently, only the material was used only for small production quantities made with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology.
Weerg boasts one of the largest installations in southern Europe of Multi Jet Fusion 5210 industrial 3D printers, capable of reaching volumes of up to 5000 pieces. All 6 HP industrial printers that compose Weerg's industrial fleet can now be used to process both PA12 and the new PA11, which provides greater flexibility to customers and makes faster delivery times possible.
PA11 has a 60% smaller carbon footprint, according to the company, and offers ‘an excellent reusability ratio of surplus materials in post-production of up to 70%’, according to Rigamonti.
In addition to reducing the environmental impact, printed products made of PA11 on HP 3D printers are aesthetically more detailed than previous technologies. In addition, unlike PA12, polyamide 11 provides higher performance in terms of ductility: softer and more elastic, it allows a higher elongation at break and better impact resistance.
Extremely stable to light, UV rays and resistant to water and atmospheric agents, this material is usually used for mechanically stressed functional prototypes and components in series with moving parts such as hinges, which are designed to withstand prolonged stress over time.
The application areas for the material are legion, ranging from medical – for example, prostheses - to aerospace, where it is used in mechanical parts of drones and other devices. Sports equipment offers interesting options, as does the automotive industry.
"We have already received numerous requests from customers operating in this sector, where this material is mainly used for the creation of internal components for pieces designed to absorb shocks in the event of an accident", said Rigamonti.