THE WORLD’S FIRST PEEK FILAMENT in implant-grade quality for 3D printing
infinity meets reality
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.
Testing grade enables cost-effective process adaptation
The new PEEK filament is based on VESTAKEEP® i4 G, a highly viscous implant material supplied by Evonik. The specialty chemicals company offers 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. . This offers a cost-effective way of adapting the processing characteristics of the high-performance plastic to a given 3D printer. The natural-colored filament, which has a diameter of 1.75 mm, is wound on 500 gram spools suitable for direct use in standard FFF 3D printers for PEEK materials.
In the first quarter of 2020, the testing grade will be followed by an implant-grade VESTAKEEP i4 G, which can be provided with the required extensive approval documentation.
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.