Another day, another major corporation entering the 3D printing space – or at least expanding its presence. Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a division of multinational corporation Henkel, has announced its intention to begin focusing more resources on the development of 3D printing materials – in particular, resins for SLA/DLP 3D printing. Henkel, which just celebrated its 140th anniversary this year, is a leading supplier of light-cured acrylic, epoxy, and polyurethane resins for applications ranging from medical and electronic devices to automotive assembly. It’s not too far of a jump to begin developing 3D printing materials – the resources and expertise are already there.
3D printing isn’t entirely new to Henkel, whose partnership with Dutch architectural design studio DUS Architects has resulted in the production of a 3D printed tiny house, the partially 3D printed Europe Building, and additional projects. Henkel’s hotmelt adhesives were instrumental in the creation of the sustainable bioplastic material used to 3D print the structures. The recyclable material was created from Henkel adhesives, which are based on sustainable raw materials, then injected with concrete for structural stability.
DUS Architects is currently in the process of building the Canal House, a three-year project on which Henkel is also listed as a partner. The Amsterdam canal house will be 3D printed in 2017 using a massive 3D printer to create the façade and interior walls, which will include 42 components. The project will showcase the novel construction methods and sustainable materials developed by the multiple partners involved in its development, and according to DUS Architects will present new solutions for housing and construction across the world.
In addition to the light-cured resins that Henkel Adhesive Technologies is developing for SLA and DLP 3D printing, the company is currently working on the development of filaments and powders for SLS and FDM 3D printing as well. Given the success of Henkel’s hotmelt adhesive materials – which are also commonly used in the assembly of filters and medical devices, as well as electronics protection – in the DUS projects, it’s no surprise that the company is turning its focus and resources to the creation of a wider variety of 3D printing materials.
“Thanks to our broad material portfolio and our large customer base across different industries, we have the access and ability to enable 3D printed solutions for all kinds of functional applications. We believe strongly in the future of additive manufacturing and expect that its full potential will come by identifying the right customer application and focusing the right materials, with the right printing process and leveraging the right software,” said Mike Olosky, Corporate Senior Vice President and Global Head of Innovation and New Business Development at Henkel Adhesive Technologies.
The first of Henkel Adhesive Technologies’ new light-cured 3D printing resins is expected to be commercialized in 2017. Discuss in the Henkel forum at 3DPB.com.