NatureWorks, a leading manufacturer of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers, has partnered with Jabil Inc., a global manufacturing solutions provider, to introduce a new Ingeo PLA-based powder formulation for powder-bed fusion technologies, including selective laser sintering (SLS) printer platforms.
Marketed as Jabil PLA 3110P, this innovative product offers a cost-effective option with a lower sintering temperature and an impressive 89% smaller carbon footprint compared to the incumbent PA-12 powder.
Ingeo PLA is derived entirely from annually renewable resources, making it a sustainable alternative to petrochemical-based powders. The collaboration between NatureWorks and Jabil brings together NatureWorks’ expertise in performance biomaterials and Jabil’s leadership in design and product development, resulting in the development of a powder that delivers both cost savings and environmental benefits.
The advantages of SLS, such as greater output, accuracy, and design freedom, make it a preferred 3D printing method. The Ingeo PLA-based powder enables the creation of custom, precision geometries required for thermoforming and compression molds. Additionally, its significantly lower sintering temperature translates to energy savings and faster start-up, addressing the energy consumption challenges associated with SLS systems.
“Jabil is excited to work with NatureWorks in driving adoption of Jabil PLA 3110P, as well as other highly engineered and qualified materials that deliver value-added attributes while reducing environmental impact,” said Luke Rodgers, senior director of R&D for additive manufacturing at Jabil.
“Our ongoing collaboration will enable us to propel the additive manufacturing industry forward with more sustainable material choices for a wide range of customer requirements.”
NatureWorks’ Ingeo biopolymer materials are derived from plant sugars, allowing them to capture and sequester atmospheric CO2. The fermentation of these sugars produces lactic acid, which is used to create a range of high-performance materials with a significantly smaller carbon footprint compared to petrochemical-based polymers.
The availability of the Jabil PLA 3110P powder made with Ingeo for SLS 3D printing can be accessed directly from Jabil through their sampling program. This collaboration between NatureWorks and Jabil represents a significant step towards advancing the additive manufacturing industry with more sustainable material choices to meet diverse customer requirements.
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