Olaf Isele, Ph.D.
Nonwovens Consultant, Metaxi SimBioSys LLC
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Potential of Additive Manufacturing and 3-D Printing for Nonwovens and Textiles (and absorbent cores/articles)
Additive manufacturing a.k.a. "3D Printing" has advanced enormously in the last 3 years. New scale, resolution, build-speed, new materials, new printer generations have been developed and commercialized. More and more companies are using 3D Printing for their own parts supply (Ford, Lufthansa, tool companies, etc.), more companies are offering 3D printing services (new ones, as well as HP, Amazon, etc.), and new break-through's in capabilities are achieved like a heart printed with biological cells. Surprisingly, while textiles and other fiber-based products have been an early, obvious since ubiquitous material choice, this proves to be a very hard nut to crack. While possible, there are still severe limitations in speed, scale, softness and appearance, as well as affordability. This talk will draw from many expert sources and share some recent major advances of this technology (process and materials), and the state-of-art capabilities for fiber and nonwoven applications and absorbent products.