Material ConneXion Looks to Cutting-Edge of Additive Manufacturing

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BioFila Silk, Best in Show at Material ConneXion’s jury on additive manufacturing materials.

Meghan Edwards | August 13, 2014

Last week at Sandow’s New York office, also home to sister-brand Interior Design Media, global materials consultancy Material ConneXion celebrated the first-ever themed jury in the company’s 17-year history. Each monthly jury is used to determine which new, cutting-edge materials—among the industry’s constant additions and advancements—should be added to the company’s subscription-based library of over 7,500 offerings. Organized in tandem with a special report slated for release on August 15, the jury focused on additive manufacturing materials used for processes such as 3-D printing, knitting and finishing.

Material ConneXion invited a group of 14 jurors—including Interior Design managing editor Helene Oberman and targeted representatives from the likes of Atelier Ace, Gensler, PepsiCo, Time Inc., and Apartment Therapy—to consider the innovative or advancing qualities of each material up for jury. All 15 candidates were accepted into the library, with the highly lustrous bioFila Silk voted Best in Show for its impressive approximation of silk using PLA, lignin and proprietary fillers and additives.

Among nine polymers added to the library, iglide® Tribo-Filament was selected as Best in Category for its self-lubricating qualities, perfect for the manufacturing of parts like gear shifts and brakes that require low friction properties but benefit from the material’s strength—it’s 50 times more wear resistant than ABS plastic. Equally of note was a steel powder called MS1 Maraging Steel, awarded Best in Category in Metals for its printed parts strong enough even for aerospace parts and mechanical engineering. The Best in Category for Ceramics, Lay-Ceramic, can be fired into fully ceramic pieces after 3D printing, thanks to a polymer that burns off to reveal a fully ceramic piece at 25 percent its original size. Lastly, Digital Metal, the Best in Cateogry for Processes, results in finer surface detail and less roughness than other similar methods.

For access to Material ConneXion’s upcoming report on additive manufacturing materials on August 15 and for more information on the juried materials, visit materialconnexion.com.

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