Evonik develops the “world’s first” PEEK filament in implant-grade high quality for 3D printing

Evonik develops the "world’s first" PEEK filament in implant-grade quality for 3D printing

Evonik claims it is the first company in the world to have developed a polymer filament based on polyetheretherketone (PEEK) in implant quality for use as a 3D printing material for implants.

This high-performance material can be used in FFF technology (Fused Filament Fabrication) and is intended to enable the additive manufacture of three-dimensional plastic parts for medical implants in the human body.

The new PEEK filament is based on Vestakeep i4 G, a highly viscous implant material from Evonik. The product, which has impressive biocompatibility, biostability and X-ray transparency, is easy to process and has for years established itself as a high-performance material for medical technology applications such as spinal implants, sports medicine and maxillofacial surgery.

Evonik will also offer a lower-cost version of its PEEK filament for FFF technology in test quality. The test material has exactly the same processing and mechanical product properties as the implant material – but without the documentation required for approval in applications for medical devices.

This offers a cost-effective way of adapting the processing properties of the high-performance plastic for printing processes. The natural colored filament with a diameter of 1.75 mm is wound on 500 gram spools, which are suitable for direct use in standard FFF 3D printers for PEEK materials. In the first quarter of 2019, the test quality will be followed by an implant grade of Vestakeep i4 G, which can be provided with the required extensive approval documentation.

The development of the world’s first PEEK filament expands Evonik’s existing range of polymer materials for 3D printing. The specialty chemicals company is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyamide (PA) 12 powders, which have been used in additive production technologies for over 20 years. In addition to PEEK filament and PA 12 powders, the material portfolio also includes flexible PEBA powders.

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