Henkel is partnering in research and development project, Sympa, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as well as the Austrian Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) Ministry.

The German and Austrian consortium aims to develop new materials, printing methodologies and post-processing technologies for durable Stereolithography (SLA) products using Digital Light Processing (DLP) with a focus on automotive applications.

SYMPA started at the end of 2018 and involves five partners along the value chain of SLA technology.

The project partners believe SLA technology has potential to enable the production of customised parts and products specifically designed for customer needs especially in automotive.

SYMPA aims to overcome some of the weaknesses of current SLA materials such as low mechanical properties, low durability and low UV stability.

Objectives include the development of a new photosensitive polymer with increased long-term thermal and mechanical properties, the fibre reinforcement of the polymer and surface modification technologies to further enhance the environmental resistance of products.

All developed technologies will be demonstrated based on real automotive parts considering the requirements on industrial production processes.

SYMPA is coordinated by the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) of the University of Stuttgart and involves partners across the value chain of SLA technology including material specialists, machine producers and research institutes:

Henkel has developed photopolymers with improved mechanical and thermal durability for the SLA technology.

SYMPA has been set up for three years until end of 2021 resulting in an SLA toolbox as a preliminary stage for tailored 3D printing solutions in the automotive industry.