The selective thermoplastic electrophotographic 3D printing process (STEP) is a new approach to industrial mass production that sees itself as an alternative to conventional production processes such as die casting. The process is expected to be ready for the market by the end of 2020. Evolve Additive Solutions, a spin-off of printer manufacturer Stratasys , and German chemical company Evonik plan to jointly develop printing materials that will be used in the process.
Although the ambitious partnership is initially focusing on polyamide 12, PEBA, transparent polyamide and polymer materials from the polyamide 6 series, the companies already have plans to develop additional materials. The STEP process is expected to replace various mass production processes as a more efficient alternative in the medium term, thus shortening time-to-market and giving companies more design freedom in terms of product development.