Nexa3D introduces the ability to reuse HP powders for more sustainable and greener 3D printing of parts

The SLS 3D printing technology (selective sintering of polyamide powders with a laser beam) brings significant environmental benefits compared to traditional production methods. The manufacturing process uses less materials and energy to produce parts, while reducing the carbon footprint. However, the sustainability of additive manufacturing goes beyond its environmental impact – it also includes designing parts more efficiently and minimizing waste. With SLS technology, designs can be fine-tuned for better part performance, durability and functionality, reducing the need to replace, repair and ultimately waste.

Sustainability creates a circular economy where materials are recycled and waste is eliminated or reduced. With the SLS method, you can use bio-based powders such as PA11 or PK-5000 and make full use of recycled bio-based powders for a waste-free solution. PA11 polyamide (also known as nylon 11) is a special type of polyamide that can be made from renewable raw materials such as castor oil, which is derived from the seeds of the castor plant.

Nexa3D SLS 3D printers – QLS 230 and QLS 236, have the so-called open material platform and can print with recycled powders that would otherwise be discarded as waste. When investing in a powder 3D printer, it is important to consider the required ratios of virgin powder – especially in closed platform systems, as powder waste can be a major environmental and bottom line issue.

For a long time, Nexa3D has been paying a lot of attention to the possibility of reusing powders, which are production waste in the case of 3D printers from other manufacturers. Some time ago, the company introduced the possibility of using HP powders used in the MultiJet Fusion technology – HP PA12 and HP PA11 on its 3D printers. Now it extends this possibility to other materials – introducing the compatibility of Nexa3D QLS 3D printers for HP TPU, HP PA12 GB and HP PA12 materials.

HP TPU is a flexible material used in medicine, consumer goods and robotics. It has a flexibility coefficient of A88 on the Shore scale. HP TPU waste is printed at the manufacturer’s specified Shore 88A scale on Nexa3D QLS 3D printers, while meeting the declared durability values. An added benefit of the QLS 3D printer is that the color of the part is bright white to slightly off-white, giving you much better dyeing options than when printing on HP.

HP PA12 GB is a glass bead reinforced PA12 that is used when a stiffer material is required. HP Recycled material allows for 3D printing with excellent resolution and accuracy on QLS platforms. This solves a major waste problem for HP customers as the material is often printed on HP 3D printers at a low density of less than 8%, which generates a significant waste stream. Users of QLS 3D printers can turn this waste into highly usable parts with tensile stresses as high as 94%. Tensile strain refers to the deformation of a material under stress.

HP PA12 (dedicated to the HP 580 3D printer) contains bleaches that help in color processing on MJF 3D printers. 3D printers were withdrawn from the HP range in 2022, however, users who continue to use these 3D printers still generate a large stream of waste. At the same time, users of Nexa3D 3D printers can print bright, white PA12 parts, which is particularly beneficial for a sustainable production process. The resulting parts are ideal for coloring and smoothing.

Finally, it is worth remembering that in addition to the use of recycled powders in SLS 3D printing, there is an opportunity to reduce transport emissions. With the ability to produce parts on demand, the need for inventory and transportation can be significantly reduced. Instead, parts can be printed locally and assembled as needed, reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain.

The exclusive distributor of Nexa3D in Poland is 3D Phoenix. Ask what can improve your business: [email protected].

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