Nov 14, 2017 | By Benedict

Chemical company BASF has announced additive manufacturing collaborations and partnerships with EOS, XAAR, and Ricoh as it looks to expand its industrial 3D printing capabilities. The three separate deals will see BASF develop 3D printing materials for the other companies.

Global chemical company BASF is steadily beginning to occupy a larger and larger segment of the additive manufacturing industry. Through its BASF 3D-Printing Solutions subsidiary in Germany, BASF has developed its own 3D printing systems, materials, and services—and could soon be developing a whole lot more. The company announced today that it has just widened its scope in 3D printing by partnering with three established additive manufacturing companies on three separate projects.

BASF and EOS cooperate on plastic powders produced by BASF

First off, BASF is cooperating with German 3D printing company EOS to develop a new range of 3D printable plastic powders. Designed for SLS 3D printers, the new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyamide (PA) powders can purportedly produce objects with a high level of flexibility.

BASF has made the powders to work with EOS 3D printing systems (and be supplied by EOS), though they will also be compatible with other laser sintering machines.

“This collaboration enables our customers to have a more versatile choice of standard materials from different producers,” said Peter Keller, Head of Material and Process Development at EOS. “We trust [BASF’s] expertise on producing consistent quality polymers.”

BASF added that the new powders will be suitable for series production, including that of functional components.

“We continue to develop plastic powders for EOS systems, for instance based on polyamides, to support customers for engineering plastics applications,” commented Dr. Dirk Simon, Global Business Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH.

BASF and XAAR collaborate on industrialization of photopolymer jetting

In the second of BASF’s newly announced collaborations, the chemical company is working with industrial inkjet technology company XAAR to improve the Photopolymer Jetting (PPJ) process, allowing PPJ users to reduce the cost of printing while improving quality. Again, the deal will see BASF producing a printable material for another company’s 3D printing system.

Photopolymer Jetting involves depositing photopolymers by jetting droplets onto a build platform and curing them with a UV light source.

The process, however, can purportedly be improved by using Xaar’s industrial inkjet printheads with TF Technology ink recirculation and High Laydown Technology, which enables high deposition rates of up to 20 l/hr and addressability of 720 dpi.

XAAR's Photopolymer Jetting (PPJ) systems will be improved with BASF's contribution

And it can be improved further when BASF puts its contribution into the mix. The chemical company will help improve PPJ by contributing new photopolymers that have been developed to complement Xaar’s printhead specifications in order to deliver high productivity and improved part properties.

BASF and Xaar are looking for companies to try out their new 3D printing tech and materials. “We are now ready to bring in more partners from a range of industry sectors to implement the solution,” said Doug Edwards, CEO at Xaar.

BASF and Ricoh announce partnership for Additive Manufacturing innovation

The last of BASF’s newly announced partnerships is with Tokyo-headquartered Ricoh, and again sees BASF putting together new 3D printing materials, this time for Ricoh.

According to a press release, the two companies will form a “development partnership” that will involve collaborating on materials, processing, and application development.

In particular, the partnership will involve BASF developing new materials for the RICOH AM S5500P, an SLS 3D printing system that has been installed by BASF at its 3D-P Application Technology Center in Heidelberg, Germany.

BASF will develop materials for Ricoh's AM S5500P 3D printer

“The wider success of the AM market in the coming years rests on the crucial advances made in material sciences,” commented Greg Plowman, Director of Ricoh Europe’s European Additive Manufacturing Business Group. “These improvements will pave the way for creative implementations in new verticals and industries.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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