BASF
New alliances in the 3D printing market / Collaborations in UK, China and US
BASF 3D Printing Solutions (B3DPS, Heidelberg / Germany), part of the BASF group (Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com), is pressing ahead with plans to be a major player in the 3D printing sector, announcing several new partnerships for the development and distribution of solutions and products during the trade fair “Formnext”, held in Frankfurt / Germany earlier in November.

In a partnership with US 3D printing specialist Origin (San Francisco, California; www.origin.io), BASF is pursuing development of photopolymer printing processes. As part of an open business model, the collaboration combines BASF’s material knowhow with Origin’s expertise in programming printer software and manufacture of the corresponding hardware. The US firm has developed a new printing method in which BASF’s new “Ultracur” 3D photopolymers can be processed “particularly well,” said Volker Hammes, managing director of B3DPS. The technology, he said, offers “an optimal combination of a good surface finish and high mechanical stability, while also allowing for high material throughput.”

BASF is also working with Photocentric (Peterborough / UK; https://photocentricgroup.com), a manufacturer of 3D printers as well as software and materials, on developing photopolymers and large-format photopolymer printers for mass production of functional components. Photocentric, which has a US base at Phoenix, Arizona, has developed and optimised the use of LCD screens as image generators for its own printing systems. Together the partners plan to offer 3D printing solutions that replace parts of traditional manufacturing processes such as injection moulding for small series, in addition to enabling production of large components.

Together with Chinese printer manufacturer Zhejiang Xunshi Technology (Shaoxing, Zhejiang), which operates in the US under the name “Sprintray”, BASF’s 3D offshoot will open new applications in 3D printing for the Ultracur range, which groups together established and new photopolymers designed for the respective 3D printing processes. BASF said it has developed UV-curing materials for the new products that provide better mechanical properties and higher long-term stability for functional components under high stress. The German company also recently invested in Prismlab (Shanghai; www.prismlab.com), a Chinese manufacturer of 3D printing processes and 3D printers – see Plasteurope.com of 12.11.2018.

In cooperation with an unidentified “global leader” of public transportation vehicles, B3DPS has developed new components to meet vehicle fire protection requirements. Through the takeover of Advanc3D Materials (Hamburg / Germany; www.advanc3dmaterials.com) in July – see Plasteurope.com of 09.07.2018 – it acquired a number of flame-resistant materials for use on laser sinter machines, including “Adsint” PA 12, PA 11, PA 11CF and TPU flex 90. With its “Ultrasint” PP, which is claimed to have excellent plasticity, low moisture uptake and resistance to liquids and gases, BASF said prototypes and small batches can now be produced from the same material as used for traditional serial production.
Distribution network for filaments
The B3DPS subsidiary Innofil3D (Emmen / The Netherlands; www.innofil3d.com) is entering a partnership with Jet-Mate Technology (Tianjin / China; www.jet-mate.com) for the distribution of plastic filaments in China, and with M. Holland (Northbrook, Illinois / USA; www.mholland.com) for the distribution of filaments in the US market. Jeroen Wiggers, business director 3DP Solutions for Additive Extrusion at B3DPS, said the company plans to develop further distribution channels in Asia, where it will launch its “Ultrafuse” range in 2019.
28.11.2018 Plasteurope.com [241161-0]
Published on 28.11.2018
BASF: Drei Entwicklungspartnerschaften für den 3D-DruckGerman version of this article...

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