3M is reshaping the future of fluoropolymers with 3D printed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the first 3D printed fully fluorinated polymer.
PTFE is known as a problem-solver, and it is the material of choice for a wide variety of demanding industries and environments. Now, thanks to a revolutionary additive manufacturing process developed by 3M, it is possible to produce pure PTFE parts with complex geometries and fine details that go beyond the capabilities of conventional processing techniques and are ideal for use in chemical processing, biotechnology and pharmaceutical research laboratories and manufacturing operations. This new 3M process uses a tailored material formulation and open-source stereolithography, also known as vat polymerization, technology for custom small batch and serial production of high-performance parts.
3M’s proprietary technology combines the powerful benefits of both additive manufacturing and PTFE to open new opportunities for customers. Whether it’s creating parts to withstand the most severe chemical processing environments, providing a precise fit for a unique electronics application, or sterile components for medical device and food processing, customers can bring their designs to life like never before. Small, intricate parts that are impractical or impossible to machine from PTFE are a great fit for our additive manufacturing technology, creating a new world of possibilities – and a new way of doing business.
As for the technology, 3M provides high quality, finished parts, operating as a service bureau and contract manufacturer. Engaging with numerous leaders across key industries to introduce and validate performance, accepting orders and manufacturing parts for the past year, 3M plans to fully commercialize the technology in Fall 2020. Beyond 3D printed PTFE, 3M is developing additive manufacturing solutions with additional fluoropolymers and high-performance materials set to launch in the coming years.
3M Advanced Materials Division
St. Paul, MN 55144 USA