The chemical company Evonik (Essen, Germany) has announced the development of a PEEK filament in implant quality for 3D printing. The material was developed for FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) technology and is based on Vestakeep i4 G, which has long been used in spinal implants, maxillofacial surgery and in sports medicine.
Evonik also said that it will offer a more cost-effective trial version of the PEEK filament in order to offer potential customers a cost-effective way of adapting the processing properties of the high-performance plastic for printing processes. The test material has the same processing and mechanical properties as the implant material, but without the documentation required for approval in applications for medical devices.
The test quality will be followed by a Vestakeep i4 G with implant quality in the first quarter of 2019.
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 similar news, the German company Apium Additive Technologies successfully processed PEEK filaments based on Vestakeep i4 G on its Apium M220 series printer for medical applications.
The PEEK filament and M220 3D medical printers were manufactured in response to growing customer demand for end-use patient-specific devices, reports the 3D printing industry. According to the company, the new production technology means a reduction in lead times and costs for the manufacture of implants.
Apium will present these developments next week at the additive manufacturing trade fair in Frankfurt.