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Wacker expands its ACEO 3D printing services for silicone rubber with U.S. based lab  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Munich, Germany - Wacker is currently expanding its ACEO 3D printing services for silicone rubber and announced the opening of a U.S.-based printing laboratory later this year. The facility, which will be located at Wacker’s research and development center for silicones in Ann Arbor, MI, is the company’s first regional 3D printing lab outside of Germany. Complementing the ACEO campus in Burghausen, Germany, the lab will serve the growing demand for additive manufacturing solutions in North America. Wacker has earmarked a single digit million dollar amount for the investment. ACEO is Wacker’s full-service provider for 3D printed silicone rubber components. Headquartered in Burghausen, Germany, ACEO will open its first regional printing lab in Ann Arbor, MI, at year’s end. The new lab will be equipped with two 3D printers, each of which will be able to process a broad range of silicone rubber with different durometer A hardnesses and in varying colors, including special media resistant FVMQ grades. ACEO’s unique additive manufacturing technology for silicone elastomers enables unprecedented product designs and complex geometries for rapid prototyping purposes, as well as serial manufacturing and cost-efficient production of replacement parts. For Bernd Pachaly, head of the ACEO 3D printing project at Wacker, the new lab at Wacker’s silicones research and development center in Ann Arbor is a major milestone in globally expanding this trailblazing technology: “In general, North America is the largest and most dynamic market for 3D printing. With our new lab, prospective partners will obtain local access to the compelling possibilities of 3D printing with liquid silicone rubber.” While ACEO will continue to produce and deliver printed silicone components from its production facility in Burghausen, Germany, the new lab in Ann Arbor will offer technical service and advice to partners and customers throughout North America, thus providing local hands-on experience with Wacker’s unique 3D printing technology. “Right from the start, we will be engaged in projects involving medical devices and components needed for health care, transportation, aerospace and electronics, all of which are key industry segments, particularly for silicone-based products,” Pachaly explains. “Establishing a regional lab will support expansion of ACEO’s footprint in the U.S. and furthers Wacker’s global service network for silicone rubber 3D printing solutions.” According to Ian Moore, vice president, Wacker Silicones, at Wacker Chemical Corporation in Adrian, MI, locating the ACEO 3D printing lab at the company’s R&D facility for silicones in Ann Arbor complements the company’s strategic business model of being close to its customers and serving regional market trends. “Our Innovation Center is focused on developing advanced and forward-looking solutions that support regional trends which can be quickly brought to market. Our team of scientists and highly specialized experts in the field of silicones and 3D printing will be able to offer our business partners valuable technical cooperation and services.”


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