Evonik launches new PEEK 3D printing filament for body contact medical parts

German chemicals company Evonik has announced the launch of its new PEEK-based 3D printing biomaterial.

Designed specifically for medical applications, VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF filament is safe for body contact for up to 30 days. The high-performance engineering material can be 3D printed using any common high-temperature FDM 3D printer that can usually process PEEK. With this release, Evonik is providing a new route to individualized patient care, with potential applications in prosthetics, surgical tools, and more.

Marc Knebel, Head of the Medical Devices & Systems market segment at Evonik, states, “Following the commercial success of our VESTAKEEP i4 3DF filament for 3D printing long-term permanent implants, we are now expanding the possibilities of modern medical technology for the individual treatment of patients with this new Care product.”

VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF. Photo via Evonik.
VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF. Photo via Evonik.

VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF

For over two decades, Evonik has provided manufacturing firms with a wide variety of additive manufacturing materials. The firm now has one of the most extensive portfolios of GMP-grade biomaterials for use with 3D printing technology, enabling parts intended for both temporary and permanent human contact. Beyond the VESTAKEEP range, the company also offers the RESOMER line, a series of filaments designed for 3D printing implantable, bioresorbable medical devices.

Evonik’s new VESTAKEEP M40 3D printing filament is the latest in the company’s ‘Care Grade’ line, which is built for short-term contact medical parts. The filament, much like any PEEK-based polymer, features a combination of temperature resistance, chemical resistance, and excellent mechanical properties such as high strength.

The VESTAKEEP PEEK variant also offers biocompatibility and great sterilizability, extending the list of applications to patient-specific hearing aids, prosthetics, orthotics, dental drilling guides, and individualized surgical tools.

VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF is available in a diameter of 1.75mm, with each spool weighing 500g. Manufactured under cleanroom conditions, the 3D printing filament is subjected to the strict quality management standards of medical materials.

Knebel adds, “In order to open up further medical applications for even better quality of life, a broad material landscape is needed. We have our fingers on the pulse with our portfolio of 3D biomaterials and are consistently developing it further. Doing so, this year we plan to launch an innovative PEEK-based filament with osteoconductive properties allowing bone cells to adhere to implants more quickly. Our goal is to revolutionize medical technology by offering innovative material solutions.”

The filament is the latest in the company’s ‘Care Grade’ line. Photo via Evonik.
The filament is the latest in the company’s ‘Care Grade’ line. Photo via Evonik.

PEEK in the 3D printing sector

Owing to its outstanding set of material properties, PEEK also sees extensive use in high-performance industrial and engineering applications. Just last month, Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax launched its new space-grade Z-PEEK 3D printing filament. Created in partnership with the aerospace sector, the thermoplastic material offers an impressive blend of radiation, temperature, and abrasion resistance, and is compatible with the company’s Endureal FDM 3D printer.

Elsewhere, Evonik has previously launched its ready-to-use INFINAM PEEK 9359 F 3D printing filament for engineering parts. Designed for use on any high-temperature 3D printer, the material exhibits high mechanical strength, hydrolysis resistance, and flame retardancy. Intended for the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas sectors, the filament is suitable as a potential replacement for certain chemical-contacting metal parts.

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Featured image shows VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF. Photo via Evonik.



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