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THE WORLD’S FIRST PEEK FILAMENT in implant-grade quality for 3D printing

Evonik has become the first company in the world to develop a polymer filament based on PEEK (polyether ether ketone) in implant-grade quality for use as a 3D printing material for implants.

This high-performance material can be used in fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology and is expected to enable additive production of three-dimensional plastic parts for medical implants in the human body.

Product overview

Product name

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Diameter

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VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF

Medical 3D printing grade

1.75 mm

Transparent spools with 250g or 500g

VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF-T

Test and development grade

1.75 mm

Deep purple spools with 250g or 500g

Testing and Development grade enables cost-effective process adaptation

Evonik provides what is known as a “testing grade” version of its PEEK filament for fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The testing-grade material has the exact same processing and mechanical product properties as the implant-grade material—but without the documentation needed for approval in medical device applications. This offers a cost-effective way of adapting the processing characteristics of the high-performance plastic for printing processes.

Medical 3D printing grade

VESTAKEEP®i4 3DF is perfectly suitable for additive manufacturing using fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. This PEEK filament is an implant-grade material based on VESTAKEEP® i4 G, a highly viscous, high-performance polymer from Evonik impressing by its

- biocompatibility
- biostability
- x-ray transparency, and
- easy handling.

The filament is produced under cleanroom conditions and then subjected to stringent quality management standards for medical materials to meet the requirements of ASTM F2026 (the standard specification for PEEK polymers for surgical implant applications).

Evonik invests in Chinese 3D-printing start-up making medical implants

Furthermore, Evonik Venture Capital has invested in a 3D-printing start-up in China that makes implants for neuro and spine surgery. The technology enables faster recovery and fewer post-operation checks for patients and less surgical risk for doctors. Evonik is the lead investor in a high single-digit million-euro round of fundraising for Shanghai-based Meditool.