Moscow researchers develop universal 3D printing material

Moscow researchers develop universal 3D printing material
The new material is applicable to all models of printers, is more heat-resistant, doesn’t stick to the printing device or clog.

Moscow tech-park tenant Kalibr has developed a universal PLA plastic suitable for any 3D printer. There is nothing similar in Russia or abroad. Current materials tend to get sticky when heated to 40-50 degrees Celsius, which can cause difficulties with printing.

“PLA plastic is a biodegradable, thermoplastic polyether, the source of which is agricultural products – potatoes or corn. It should see high demand due to being nontoxic and easily recyclable. The universal nature of the plastic is not its only advantage. Other types of plastic become too soft and sticky when heated to 40-50 degrees Celsius. The hot material tends to stick to the metal, which could cause clogging in the printing device. The developer changed the properties of the plastic material, making it more heat-resistant to avoid the sticking and clogging,” said the board chairman at Kalibr, Mikhail Kogan.

It was possible to change the properties of the plastic with stringent drying conditions and through several stages of heating and cooling.

Universal plastic is used at schools and universities to teach students 3D printing technology. Due to its costs and ease of use, the material is also used by construction companies and workshops for demonstrations and prototypes. 

US, European and Asian manufacturers have made unsuccessful attempts to find some universal material, but only Moscow developers were able to find an effective solution.

There was two tonnes of the first lot of the new plastic, of which 1.5 tonnes is already being used in Moscow and St Petersburg as well as in the European Union (Germany, and others), according to Natalya Sergunina, Deputy Moscow Mayor for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations.

“Achievements by Moscow tech-park residents are important for the entire science-based manufacturing sector. Success always brings further growth and development. It is also an indicator of the efficiency of city programmes, including those to create a comfortable environment for high-tech businesses. Technoparks are an inherent part of this environment,” commented Natalya Sergunina.

Moscow is home to 40 industrial complexes and 33 industrial parks. The residents develop and apply modern technologies in different fields – from developing transport of the future to shoes. KalibrTechnopark operates a test site for autonomous (without a driver) cars and buses. The 400-metre course replicates a city environment with bus stops, pedestrian crossings, road signs, street markings and a driving course.

Strogino Technology Park has worked out an innovative wound healing device, that expedites the healing process by three or four times. A resident at Nagatino Technopark developed an anti-vandal and waterproof coating for bridges and transport and residential structures. It both ensures weather protection, and makes it impossible to either adhere or paint advertisements or notices on a coated surface.

City measures to support industrial parks include profit tax, land tax and property tax deductions and reduced property lease rates. All told, the overall tax burden at technoparks could be reduced by some 25 percent.