Another day, another new material to add to the vast array of filaments that the 3D printing enthusiast already has to choose from. Global materials developer DSM has had an indirect hand in the 3D printing market for a while, as their photosensitive polymer materials are ideal for the manufacture of 3D printer filament. Those polymers have always been sold as raw material in the form of plastic granules, which are then turned into filament by the manufacturers that purchase them, but now DSM has decided to cut out the middleman and begin manufacturing their own filament as an end product. According to DSM, their two new materials deliver “unique material performance” relative to leading filament types like ABS and PLA.
Arnitel ID is a thermoplastic copolymer (TPC) with high chemical and UV resistance. Compared to typical thermoplastic urethane (TPU) filaments, DSM states that Arnitel ID offers a higher print speed with no buckling, plus better layer-to-layer adhesion than TPU, ABS or PLA. It’s also apparently super-flexible, reaching elongation at break up to 400%. Ideal applications include electronics and sports equipment, according to DSM, though they expect that it will lend itself to a much wider range of uses once it gets to the market.
Novamid ID is made from a PA6 polyamide that DSM has been using – in non-filament form – for years in automotive and electronics applications. It’s a strong, tough, and highly temperature-resistant material, able to withstand temperatures of up to 150°C, ideal for manufacturing under-the-hood automotive parts, according to DSM. Like Arnitel, Novamid ID has great layer-to-layer adhesion, plus its high crystalline content makes it a good choice for prints with overhangs.
“The 3D printing sector, and particularly its FDM segment, represents an exciting, high-growth market with huge potential,” said Fredric Petit, Global Business Director at DSM.
The new filaments will be sold through chemical and plastics distributor Nexeo Solutions, which is about to launch a new division specifically dedicated to 3D printing materials. Nexeo 3D Solutions expects to be in business by May 2, and at this point it isn’t clear if they’ll be offering any products other than the new DSM materials to start with, but it appears as though they have every intention of growing into a significant supplier for the 3D printing industry.
“Our customers will have access to a brand new range of products specifically developed for 3D printing,” said Gianpaolo Armando, Vice President EMEA at Nexeo. “As a global distributor, Nexeo Solutions achieves an important innovation milestone on our aim to connect customers and suppliers in simple and unimagined ways.”
One thing’s for sure – a massive, multinational corporation doesn’t open an entirely new division for just a couple of products. There’s not much detail available about Nexeo 3D yet, but it’s clear that they, along with DSM, intend to capitalize on the 3D printing market. Stay tuned to see what else they have to offer. Discuss further in the DSM 3D Printing Materials forum over at 3DPB.com.