3D Printing FilamentsAdvanced MaterialsAdvanced PolymersMaterialsMedical AMOrthopedic Implants

Evonik introduces carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filaments

VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF are the first PEEK composites for long-term 3D printed medical implants

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Evonik is introducing the new carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK filament, for use in 3D printed medical implants. VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF are the first composite PEEK filaments for long-term 3D printed medical implants and can be processed in common extrusion-based 3D printing technologies such as fused filament fabrication (FFF).

The two available filaments feature 12% and 20% carbon fiber content, respectively. The two grades offer a choice of material depending on the required strength and flex properties of 3D printed implants such as bone plates and other reconstructive prostheses.

Evonik’s VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF offer great benefits from the strength from the high carbon-fiber content, matched with the ductility of its PEEK component. Additional product benefits include the ability to define the alignment of the carbon fibers during the 3D printing process, high bio-compatibility for metal allergy patients, and no x-rays artifacts.

Evonik introduces carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filaments: VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF for 3D printed medical implants
Evonik introducing the world’s first carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK filament for long-term 3D printed medical implants. (©Evonik)

“By introducing the world’s first carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK filament for long-term medical implants, we continue to design biomaterials that open up new possibilities in today’s medical technology for patient-specific treatment,” said Marc Knebel, Head of Medical Systems at Evonik. “As passionate experts with decades of experience in polymer chemistry, we combine a unique set of competencies in materials science, manufacturing technologies and regulatory expertise to customers to accelerate the time-to-market of new medical technologies for people’s lives beyond limits.”

With a diameter of 1.75 mm, VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF are supplied on 500g and 1,000g spools that can be used directly in standard FFF/FDM 3D printers for PEEK materials. The filament is subjected to strict quality management for medical materials.

“No other application field showcases more the advantages of 3D printing, such as individualization or design freedom, than medical technology,” says Knebel. “In trauma applications, for instance, 3D printed solutions offer an enormous time advantage over traditionally manufactured medical devices. It is conceivable that patient-specific solutions can be manufactured within two or three days, significantly improving the recovery phase.”

Evonik introduces carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filaments: VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF for 3D printed medical implants
With a diameter of 1.75 mm, VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF are supplied on 500g and 1,000g spools that can be used directly in standard FFF/FDM 3D printers for PEEK materials. (©Evonik)

Evonik’s new PEEK filaments feature 12% and 20% carbon-fiber content, respectively, offering a choice of material depending on the required strength and flex properties of 3D printed medical devices. (©Evonik)

Over the last five years, Evonik has been gradually developing new PEEK-based filaments for medical 3D printing applications and thus setting material quality standards in medical technology with additive manufacturing. The current portfolio includes different grades for long-term and short-term body contact applications:

Long-term body contact applications:

VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF – Implant grade (long-term)
VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF-T – Test and development grade
VESTAKEEP® iC4800 3DF – Osteoconductive implant grade
VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (12%) implant grade
VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (20%) implant grade

Short-term body contact applications:

VESTAKEEP® Care M40 3DF – Medical care grade

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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