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Questions about Materials Materials - Always well informed

The term “food grade” refers to materials that are harmless to health due to their physical composition. They have no odor or taste effect on food. They give rise to new applications for prototypes and small-series production in the household appliance industry.

Of course! Due to the diverse technologies that we offer, we also use a wide range of materials. We would be happy to share our experience with you to help you find the appropriate technology and material for your needs.

For many of our 3D-printing materials we either have material samples in stock or can produce them. Material samples are available as tension rods or technology sample boxes. You can order technology sample boxes here. For tension rods, please contact your Sales representative.

Elastomer materials (PU rubber) are available in various degrees of hardness from  30-90 Shore A. Thermoplastic-like materials are available in degrees of hardness from 45-85 Shore D.

Shore A 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 95        
Shore D             45 55 60 65 70 80

Polyurethane is the collective chemical term for elastic to hard plastics produced from polyalcohols and polyisocyanates. The curing reaction is a polyaddition. Polyurethanes have many uses, e.g. for the production of household sponges, adhesives, paints and floor coatings. Synthetic textile fibers such as polyurethane are also used in the fashion sector.

We have special expertise when it comes to prototypes made from food-grade plastics and silicones. The use of these basic materials, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), makes it easier to obtain FDA approval for the respective part.

We can hand over the necessary documentation for FDA approval to our customers, thereby enabling them to submit the respective FDA application. In this context, the term “food grade” refers to materials which, due to their physical composition, are harmless to health and impart no odor or taste to the food. They give rise to new applications for prototypes and small-series production in the household appliance industry.

For example, we tested the use of a transparent polyurethane material for vacuum casting on behalf of a well-known coffee machine manufacturer. Using food-grade dyes, plastic parts can be produced in virtually any desired color and adapted to meet the strict approval requirements of the American Food and Drug Administration.

Flexible parts, such as hoses or seals made of silicone, can also be produced by 1zu1 in any color and in a Shore hardness of between 00 A and 65 A. Food-grade parts can also be produced in a Shore hardness of 00 A, 43 A and 65A. 

Elastomer materials (PU rubber) are available in various degrees of hardness from  30-90 Shore A. Thermoplastic-like materials are available in degrees of hardness from 45-85 Shore D. Typical areas of application include housings, covers, gaskets, covers for vehicle apparatus construction, foundry models, model and prototype construction, mold tubes, hoses …

  • Glass fibers/glass-fiber mats with a weight ratio of up to 20 percent are possible. Instead of higher strength, in most cases this results in increased hardness and dimensional stability and, in some cases, higher thermal stability. However, glass fibers reduce the elongation at break!
  • Carbon fiber/carbon fiber mats
  • Sand

Polyurethanes (as well as series materials) can of course be reinforced with various additives. The latter often produce different effects compared to their use in injection molding – for example, because the glass fibers are not “directed”.

SHORE hardness, named after Albert Ferdinand Shore, is an indicator used primarily for elastomers and rubber-elastic polymers. It is directly related to the penetration depth and is thus a measure of the material hardness.

Materials Advantages
Accura® Xtreme  
  • Plastic parts with excellent detail reproduction
  • countless surface options
Accura® 25  
  • Plastic parts with higher elasticity requirements (modulus of elasticity of approx. 1600 MPa)
  • highest precision
DSM Somos® WaterClear Ultra  
  • Highly transparent or translucent plastic parts
  • UV-resistant
DSM Somos® ProtoTherm  
  • Plastic parts with an application range of up to 125° Celsius
DSM Somos® Taurus  
  • Plastic parts with an application range of up to 85° Celsius.
  • Suitable for prototypes
  • Series applications with long-term stability
Material Advantage
  • Diversity through Shore A hardness 50, 60, 70, 80 
  • colorable
  • good detailed graphics
Materials Advantages
PA11 (PA1101 - polyamide)  
  • best detail resolution
  • smooth surfaces
  • excellent edge sharpness
  • excellent mechanical properties
Materials Advantages
PA12 (PA2200, polyamide)  
  • Perfect material for additive manufacturing
  • Mechanical properties  can be modeled & wide temperature application range
  • Excellent surface due to chemical smoothing
  • Can be dyed with more than 150 colors without material application 
PA12GB (PA3200GF, glass reinforced polyamide)  
  • Components exhibit extra stability and/or stiffness as the material is reinforced with glass beads
PP (PP01, polypropylene)   
  • First functional prototypes made of PP without color/surface requirements
  • suitable for contact with food

1zu1 regularly tests new materials, processes/technologies, equipment etc. If the results meet our requirements, we add them to our portfolio.

We share our latest news with prospective customers via the 1zu1 newsletter. You can sign up for it here.

We also perform R&D and research on new materials for 3D printing and vacuum casting.

We monitor the entire market and continuously test new processes, materials and improvements to existing technologies.

Around five to ten times per year we inform our existing and prospective customers about the latest innovations at 1zu1 Prototypes. We will be happy to provide you with this information – you can sign up for our newsletter here.

We can certainly provide a quotation for injection-molded silicone parts. Our rapid-tooling tools are manufactured at 1zu1; the silicone parts themselves are produced by our partner company. For prototypes and small series we can offer a number of sound (and fast) 3D-printing/vacuum-casting solutions. Simply send us your inquiry.

The material manufacturer does not provide information about the stability under pressure (compressibility) of this material. The material consists of epoxy resin and a high, non-compressible ceramic content, and can withstand high internal-mold pressures during injection molding. However, with increasing temperature and long cooling times, there is still the risk of deformation, which also depends largely on the component geometry. A general appraisal is therefore not possible and a precise assessment is also difficult. We do not have practical applications for the described scenario. However, we have already produced injection molds from the PERFORM, which have withstood several hundred shots without any problems or dimensional errors on the injection-molded parts. Furthermore, we successfully use this material on test benches as complex hold-down devices for test specimens that are clamped by means of a toggle lever. In this scenario we have not detected any deformation at room temperature. Our suggestion: Test your requirements and application with the aid of some prototypes to check whether the functionality meets your expectations.

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