SABIC Launches 6 Filaments for Fused Deposition Modeling

PITTSBURGH, PA, May 10, 2017 – SABIC, a global leader in thermoplastic technology, is demonstrating here at RAPID + TCT 2017 its focus on advancing additive manufacturing from prototyping to full-scale production, as evidenced by its launch today of six new filaments for fused deposition modeling and a new family of reinforced compounds for large format additive manufacturing. These high-performance materials can help customers capitalize on the huge potential of additive manufacturing as a production process. At its exhibit in booth #2537, the company is also featuring a range of specialized material technologies that can help further the adoption of additive manufacturing.

SABIC’s new filaments offering directly addresses the need for greater options in the industrial filament market and targets a broad range of customer requirements. Based on the company’s industry-leading ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) resin, CYCOLAC acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin and LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) resin, the filaments offer the same composition as the company’s injection molding grades and can be used to produce a range of high-performance, durable end-use parts.

In his 2016 report, “3D Printing: State of the Industry,” additive manufacturing industry consultant, Terry Wohlers stated, “Individuals, companies, and other organizations have had 28 years to learn how to apply 3D printing technology to modeling and prototyping. For the most part, 3D printing is well understood for these applications. The next frontier is to apply 3D printing to the production of parts for final products. This is where the largest opportunities lie and where most investments will be made in the future.”

“The industry’s efforts to integrate new materials, processes and designs are critical to evolving additive manufacturing for production,” said Lori Louthan, director, Mass Transportation, SABIC. “SABIC is enabling this evolution by creating high-performance materials to help drive this advancement, and is supporting customers with our extensive expertise and resources for testing, design and application development. The filaments, compounds and other materials we are showing here at RAPID + TCT 2017 are just the beginning of our comprehensive effort to help customers in the additive manufacturing industry make the leap from prototyping to full-scale production.”

SABIC has introduced a new family of high-performance THERMOCOMP AM compounds that addresses the unique requirements of large format additive manufacturing (LFAM). Print parameters and mechanical properties for the materials – developed by SABIC using test specimens printed on the company’s in-house big area additive manufacturing (BAAM) machine – can significantly aid customers in expediting their material selection and optimize processing. Reinforced with carbon or glass fibers for added strength, the new compounds can be used for applications in the tooling, aerospace, automotive and defense industries.

A key aspect of developing new materials is the ability to understand their performance under specific process and end-use application conditions. To this end, SABIC is active in developing test methodologies that will provide insight into the performance of additively manufactured parts. One area of focus involves the fracture mechanics of parts produced by fused deposition modeling. SABIC’s senior scientist, Devendra Bajaj, PhD, will be sharing his knowledge on this topic at the RAPID + TCT Conference. Dr. Bajaj’s presentation covers the “Fracture Mechanics of Additively Manufactured Plastic Parts” and took place on May 9 at 3:15PM as part of the Material Properties I session.

Material Innovations to Expand the Capabilities of Additive Manufacturing

SABIC is working on innovations beyond the new materials launched today for fused deposition modeling and large format additive manufacturing. At its booth, the company is highlighting several disruptive material solutions that can offer improved performance versus currently available products: 

  • Polycarbonate (PC) materials for selective laser sintering (SLS): SABIC is developing a technology to enable laser sintering of PC materials with good mechanical properties and part densities above 96 percent. These materials may provide an alternative to polyamide 12 (PA 12) and can be processed using commercially available printers.
  • EXTEM polyimide (PI) filaments for fused deposition modeling: These filaments represent SABIC’s ongoing focus on developing differentiated, high-temperature solutions for additive manufacturing. The materials are suitable for applications requiring higher temperature performance than ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) filaments.
  • High-impact-strength PC filaments for fused deposition modeling: These materials offer improved impact resistance compared to other commercially available PC filaments, and can be processed at standard PC conditions. Potential advantages include reduced part damage in secondary operations, and higher levels of performance in end-use applications.

Application Highlights

To demonstrate the practical application of its new materials for large format additive manufacturing, SABIC is exhibiting a section of a boat hull from Livrea Yacht, which was printed on SABIC’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine. The outer layer of the hull uses a carbon fiber-reinforced polyphenylene ether (PPE) compound, and the inner lattice support structure is printed from a carbon fiber-reinforced ULTEM PEI compound. Using large format additive manufacturing for this application reduces the need for costly molds and prototyping, and yields a lighter, stronger hull in half the time versus traditional fabrication methods.

SABIC is also displaying a selection of parts produced from its new filament materials, which are representative of typical applications across a variety of industries.

From material chemistries, to formulations, to production, to part printing expertise, SABIC integrates design, materials and processing, as the company has done with traditional polymer processes over the past decades, to bring unique offerings to the additive manufacturing space.

SABIC technical experts are available at the company’s booth for the duration of RAPID + TCT 2017 to discuss these new technologies and their benefits for additive manufacturing.


SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals. They  support their customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy. SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 17.84 billion (US$ 4.76 billion) in 2016. Sales revenues for 2016 totalled SR 132.83 billion (US$ 35.42 billion). Total assets stood at SR 316.89 billion (US$ 84.5 billion) at the end of 2016. Production in 2016 stood at 72.7 million metric tons SABIC has more than 35,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 12,191 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

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