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3D Printing Chemistry 101: The Molecular Makeup of PAEK, PEKK and PEEK Plastic


If you’re anything like this author, you got a C- in high school chemistry and never looked back. With a newfound interest in the topic, I’m hoping to revisit the molecular science of some of the most popular materials in 3D printing to understand them—not just in terms of applications and physical properties, but chemical makeup.


According to its “ Polymer Additive Manufacturing Markets and Applications: 2020-2029 ” report, SmarTech Analysis expects polymer 3D printing to create as much as $11.7 billion in revenue in 2020, driven by sales of polymer AM hardware and all associated material families. In particular, the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family of plastics is one of the most important in the additive space due to the high strength, temperature resistance and chemical resistance. This group includes PAEK, polyether ketone ketone (PEKK) and polyether ether ketone (PEEK). PAEKs differ from their lower cost alternative, polyetherimide (PEI), which […]

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