Braskem and DiveDesign develop custom 3D printed K9 quad cart for rescue dog Wobbly Hannah
Braskem and DiveDesign develop custom 3D printed K9 quad cart for rescue dog Wobbly Hannah
Braskem and DiveDesign, a product design and marketing firm, partnered to develop a custom 3D printed K9 quad cart for rescue dog Wobbly Hannah (@wobblyhannahtotherescue). Hannah is affected by a neurological condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, so her brain doesn’t communicate well with her body in terms of movement, balance and coordination. The results are delayed body movements requiring her to have an assistive device to move around. Due to her size and body movements, most off-the-shelf cart solutions simply wouldn’t work, were not able to support Hannah properly, were too large or would tip over during use. Hannah’s owner Cassidy reached out to DiveDesign to create a better solution. “She’s 65 pounds and unable to stand on her own. We tried several custom carts that have all failed us; they have not been built to withstand the weight and force when she is trying to move. We were starting to wonder if we were ever going to be able to have something made for her that supports her like we needed it to,” said Cassidy.
3D printed K9 quad cart

Cassidy contacted DiveDesign in April 2021 to discuss potential options. DiveDesign got to work conceptualizing and prototyping different designs using state-of-the-art scanning and virtual design software as well as Braskem’s carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene (PP) filament for 3D printing (CF-PP) (FL900PP-CF). DiveDesign was able to develop and print a durable and lightweight quad cart for Hannah in less than four months, all through virtual communications. Hannah’s body is now properly supported and she is fully empowered to live an active and healthier life, while independently enjoying the freedom to pursue activities with her family and other dogs.

Braskem Commercial Director of Additive Manufacturing Jason Vagnozzi said, “When DiveDesign first shared the opportunity and we saw Hannah on Instagram, we instantly fell in love with her. We immediately knew having a lightweight durable material would be essential to the success of the project. Our carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene was the perfect solution for her quad cart. Hannah is an amazing dog, and we are so happy to be able to help her live a comfortable and happy life.”

DiveDesign CEO Alex Tholl added, “My partner Adam Hecht and I were very fortunate to have Jason from Braskem reach out to us. While our team’s knowledge and experience in additive is extensive, finding a material that would be an excellent fit became challenging. Jason stepped in with Braskem’s new CF-PP and gave us that confidence we needed to make this work for Hannah.” To watch the full story of Hannah and the team’s journey to build her carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene K9 quad cart visit

Braskem’s carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene filament allows users to 3D print lightweight and exceptionally rigid parts for high-end applications, such as automotive, aerospace, nautical, sporting goods and more. FL00PP-CF is made using 100 percent recycled carbon fiber, providing for a more sustainable product footprint without sacrificing performance.

Braskem’s carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene filament is designed to be used for industrial as well as personal 3D printing applications making them suitable for rapid prototyping, custom product design, light weighting, optimizing geometries and designing spare parts. Braskem’s carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene filaments are available in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters to fit a wide range of 3D printer applications and are available for online purchase.

Geosynthetic solutions from AGRU improve mining safety

What do Tesla, Apple and Ford have in common? They all rely on mines that produce metals such as lithium, which drives our technology-hungry world. Now, more than ever, mining operations must run efficiently to meet increasing demand. Equally as important is supporting positive public beliefs on mining: Mining operators must incorporate high safety standards to ensure a prosperous future because public opinion can make or break industries. Fortunately, geosynthetics such as those produced by AGRU can improve safety in mining applications and improve environmental safety.

Mining operations rely on evaporation ponds, heap leach pads, tailings storage, process ponds and more. An effective mining solution can positively affect these operating segments to protect the project’s long-term investments and minimize ecological impact. Geosynthetics are made with polymers and used for terrain stabilization. Often, geosynthetics manufacturers incorporate multiple products into a solution to manage various functions such as separation, reinforcement, filtration, drainage and barrier (low permeability).

Nonwoven geotextiles, a slope stabilization fabric, can contribute to separation and filtration when covering tailing impoundments, while geogrids offer stabilization and reinforcement for new nearby roadways. When combined with vertical drains, installers can safely and sustainably reclaim tailing ponds. Other products include liners with built-in texturing that support slope stability, essential for improving safety factors.

At the heart of each geosynthetic product is the polymer. One of the best polymer options for liners in mining applications is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which features exceptional resistance to chemicals, stress cracks, tears, punctures and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Engineers may prefer a linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) liner for applications that require improved elongation at break and tensile properties.

Engineers use safety factors to reduce risk when constructing heap leach pads or other mining constructs, and safety factors create a margin between rated limits and failure points. For example, most mines rely on slopes to help improve mining efficiency by enabling taller builds or introducing gravity to create flow into trenches or holding ponds. By using a liner or slope stabilization fabric with improved shear performance, installers can incorporate improved factors of slope stability to reduce the risk of failure.

These liners function by adding texturing that increase the interface shear strengths between the membrane and the subgrade and/or other liner material. The texture digs into geotextile/slope stabilization fabric, soil or geocomposite to prevent sliding and other movements. Geosynthetic products, such as geogrids, can also help reinforce other soil structures such as berms, embankments and crusher walls.

Mining operations use acids and other toxic chemicals in various processes. In heap leaching, the byproduct (pregnant solution) requires containment to increase recoveries and prevent the solution from seeping into the soil or local waterways. Installers can use low-permeability products such as geosynthetic clay liners (GCL) or geomembranes to avoid environmental contamination. These liners can help create safer pregnant solution trenches and other onsite containment spaces.

A mine’s service life is often dynamic, but one constant is the eventual need for closure. Engineers can minimize the environmental impact of post-mining operations by isolating mining zones with a capping system. For example, tailings or heap leach closures can reduce acid rock drainage from entering the groundwater. Most closure solutions typically incorporate multiple products for padding, protection, low permeability, drainage and stability. However, combining these layers into one geosynthetic solution can improve installation time and reliability, and AGRU produces such solutions.

AGRU mining solutions help designers incorporate layers that manage everything from separation to drainage. At the heart of these solutions are AGRU geosynthetic liners. These liners are precision manufactured with the highest quality polyethylene resins and show industry-leading consistency for reliable performance. Products include Smooth Liner, MicroSpike, MicroDrain, AGRUTEX, Drain Liner, AGRU GeoClay and the Integrated Drainage System (IDS). By combining multiple products into a single liner, AGRU IDS can help projects install 15 percent faster when compared with traditional systems.

High-quality spirit levels made with ACRYLITE
High-quality spirit levels made with ACRYLITE®
For centuries, spirit levels have been used to ensure components are lying flat. Even today, it is an essential tool for construction professionals and do-it-yourself fans alike. The measurement accuracy depends on the quality of the vial — a liquid-filled tube with an air bubble — the key component of every spirit level. One of the largest international manufacturers of vials is Walter Bürgermeister GmbH, headquartered near Linz in Austria. The company has a portfolio of approximately 200 different models for spirit levels and other measuring instruments and produces around 80,000 vials every day.

For more than 60 years, Bürgermeister vials have been made from ACRYLITE® molding compounds, the brand polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) from Röhm in the Americas. Because the company values processes that save resources, Bürgermeister also uses ACRYLITE recyclate. “Our material contributes to sustainable product design. Not only is it extraordinarily durable, but it is also completely recyclable — and the quality remains almost unchanged,” said Heinz Schubkegel, senior business manager in the molding compounds business unit at Röhm.

Bürgermeister originally made glass vials. Walter Bürgermeister founded the company in 1947, inspired by his wife’s grandfather who began producing glass measuring instruments in 1898. When plastics became more widespread at the end of the 1950s, the next logical step was to manufacture spirit levels with unbreakable plastic vials.

In 1960, Bürgermeister acquired his first injection molding machine. However, he was initially limited to covering the glass vials in a layer made of ACRYLITE molding compound, as sealing technology was not yet mature enough to make sealed plastic vials. This changed a few years later with a modified recipe for the vial liquid and an innovative welding process. Bürgermeister’s reliable and tight vials made from ACRYLITE molding compounds were unique in the market.

The small family-owned company has evolved into a cutting-edge enterprise. Renowned around the globe, the manufacturer still relies on the brand PMMA from Röhm. “We can look back on a long and trusted partnership with Röhm. In addition to the high-quality raw materials, we place great value on European production standards and the short transport distances,” said Ronald Adlbrecht, CEO at Walter Bürgermeister GmbH. “ACRYLITE is particularly well-suited for our vials as it highly transparent and has excellent optical qualities, is UV-resistant and is easy to process in injection molding processes and subsequent processing steps.”

As the liquid in the spirit level is not water, but a special spirit with a dye and various additives, the vial must be resistant to chemicals. It must not develop stress cracks, as the liquid could leak and the tool would become useless. This would also be the case if the material yellowed or became brittle through weathering. UV rays could also alter the measuring liquid, which is why UV resistance is a sign of quality in vials. Components made from ACRYLITE molding compounds are resistant to UV rays and chemicals, ensuring they are permanently transparent — in this case, guaranteeing reliably precise measurement results.

Bürgermeister places great emphasis on sustainability and conducts its business with saving resources and protecting the climate in mind. “We reuse material waste and leftover energy in the production process to the greatest possible extent,” emphasized CEO Adlbrecht. Solar panels on the roof of the new plant — constructed in 2018 — create green energy, while waste heat is used for the heating system. The company has reduced the energy required for injection molding by 25 percent. Around 90 percent of production waste, such as sprues or vial caps that are no longer required, are melted down, ground to granules and reused.

“This process is only possible with top-quality raw materials. Because ACRYLITE molding compounds from Röhm are characterized by their high optical purity, the regranulation process provides high-quality PMMA to produce new caps,” says Adlbrecht. Heinz Schubkegel says: “This is a model example of how ACRYLITE molding compounds can contribute to a circular economy.” Photo © Walter Bürgermeister GmbH.