Nov 2, 2016 | By Benedict

German chemical company BASF has strengthened its collaboration with printer manufacturer HP to develop production-ready 3D printing materials for the HP Jet Fusion 3D printer. BASF claims to have the broadest product portfolio of 3D printable materials in the chemical industry.

Since unveiling its first ever 3D printer earlier this year, printing giant HP has been clear that it is willing to collaborate: on specific 3D printing applications, with big names like BMW and Nike, and on 3D printing materials, with chemical and plastics companies such as Evonik and Arkema. Another materials specialist with whom HP is collaborating is German chemical company BASF, whose large North American affiliate company is headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey. According to a press release put out today, HP and BASF are now ready to strengthen their partnership to develop materials for large-scale production.

BASF, which will develop materials for the new HP Jet Fusion 3D printer, claims to have the broadest portfolio of materials in the chemical industry that could be developed for 3D printing. These materials include engineering thermoplastics, polyurethanes, acrylate systems such as photo-polymers, photoinitiators, functional additives, stabilizers, pigments, and metal systems, some of which could be used for the new HP machine.

“BASF brings tremendous expertise in materials for mass production to the 3D printing industry,” said Tim Weber, Global Head of 3D Materials & Advanced Applications at HP. “By partnering with companies that have a long history in developing new materials with customers in the manufacturing industry, we want to bring 3D printing from small batch series to industrial large-scale production.”

To enable BASF to develop 3D printing materials at a rapid pace, HP is now in the process of detailing the requirements and specifications necessary to develop materials for large-scale production. HP and BASF will then exchange ideas, after which BASF will begin to develop a “variety of new materials” designed for enhanced 3D printing products. The chemical specialist also plans to widen its overall portfolio of 3D printing materials—plastic, ceramic, and metal.

“In collaboration with HP, we combine our understanding of customer needs and applications along with expertise in materials,” said Dietmar Geiser, responsible for BASF’s 3D printing strategy at BASF New Business. “The HP Open Platform is driving the advancement of materials for large-scale industrial use of 3D printing in production, and BASF will play an integral role in materials development.”

Unlike laser sintering, HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printing technology applies a layer of fusing agent in the desired shape on a polymer powder bed, after which the agents and powder are exposed to energy to enable fusing. The polymer powder only melts where the print head has applied the fusing agent, creating the envisioned layer shape in a short space of time.

To coordinate its 3D printing operations, BASF has created a new dedicated business unit in BASF New Business GmbH (BNB) and created an Application Technology Center for 3D printing in Heidelberg, Germany.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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