Chromatic’s RX-AM™ materials and technology platform is shown here 3D printing smooth polyurethane grommets with Smooth-Mode. (Image: Chromatic 3D Materials/PRNewswire)

The materials and technology platform from Chromatic 3D Materials is described as “a breakthrough for 3D printing professional applications that must be airtight and watertight.”

September 21, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS—3D printing technology company Chromatic 3D Materials has developed a technology for 3D printing durable rubber parts with “ultra-smooth surfaces at commercial volumes,” the company said in a release.

Chromatic’s Smooth-Mode technology is reported to enable industrial manufacturers to 3D print smooth, high-quality polyurethane parts, such as seals, gaskets, grommets, bladders, and other elastomeric products, with no post-processing or surface finishing.

“Sealing requires a smooth surface, but 3D-printed parts have always had layer lines or roughness,” said Chromatic CEO and founder Cora Leibig, Ph.D., in the release. “We have developed a way to easily and cost-effectively 3D print products that are ultra-smooth without additional steps. It’s a breakthrough for 3D printing those professional applications that must be airtight and watertight.”

According to Chromatic, parts printed with Smooth-Mode technology have superior aesthetics and finer dimensional accuracy. For example, products can be printed with precise uniform thickness at submillimeter scale. As a result, the new technology is suitable for manufacturing rubber bladders and other elastomeric products that expand and contract, the company said.

Chromatic’s team of additive manufacturing experts first achieved ultra-smooth prints by fine-tuning the viscosity and surface tension of the company’s printable thermoset polyurethane materials.

“We developed a way to go beyond simply applying our reaction technology to FDM printing,” said Bart Engendahl, Ph.D., Chromatic’s managing director in Germany, in the release. “Smooth-Mode uses chemistry to create an ultra-bonded and smooth part. We believe this printing technique delivers the world’s smoothest printing along the Z, or height, axis.”

Industrial manufacturers can take advantage of Smooth-Mode with Chromatic’s RX-AM™ materials and technology platform. The 3-in-1 platform includes materials, software, and hardware for deposition printing with reactive chemistry. RX-AM, or Reactive Extrusion Additive Manufacturing, uses printable polyurethanes with Shore A hardness ranging from 50 to 90, as well as custom grades with varying colors, hardness, and special properties (such as antibacterial, static discharge, biocides). The platform is designed for printing commercial volumes, the company said.

Chromatic 3D Materials said it focuses on more flexible, cost-effective, and sustainable manufacturing of industrial-strength elastomeric products. The company has facilities in the United States and in Germany. Its portfolio includes printable polyurethanes and other thermoset elastomers for applications in transportation, industrial seals and gaskets, textiles, medical

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