Only about a week after Shanghai-based Polymaker announced the close of its $5 million equity funding round, led by a top venture capital firm in China, the 3D printing materials company is back with another big announcement – it is launching a new product family today that will target industrial customers interested in customized solutions and 3D printing materials. The new line is aptly named Polymaker Industrial, and the launch represents a pretty ambitious move into the industrial 3D printing sector by the company.
The line is launching today to coincide with the opening of the TCT Asia show, which is being held this week in Shanghai. The company has a split booth design, in order to distinguish between its new Polymaker Industrial line, and its standard consumer materials. Polymaker is hoping to capitalize on the TCT show attendees who are focused more on industrial 3D printing solutions and materials.
Polymaker’s president, Dr. Xiaofan Luo, said, “3D printing will for sure reshape the landscape of manufacturing, and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. We are so excited to fuel this development and look forward to making more contributions to the industry.”
Polymaker has been working on updating its materials offerings for the last few years, introducing its PolySmooth filament in 2016, working with Covestro to develop PC-Plus and PC-Max in 2015, and creating PolySupport, which easily removes 3D printing supports. The new Polymaker Industrial line has nearly 20 different materials that cover a large range of raw materials, including PLA, ABS, PC, TPU, Nylon, and PVB. Polymaker Industrial’s materials portfolio also covers many different functions and properties, from improved flame retardance to higher mechanical strength, and different physical forms as well, including pellets, powders, and filament.
Several materials in the portfolio were actually developed for specific industrial applications, like PolyCast SP801C, which was created for investment casting applications that require a clean burn out when fired in a kiln. The material can produce more complex geometries thanks to how additive manufacturing works, and is already being used during low-production runs. An industrial expert who had the opportunity to stop by Polymaker’s booth at formnext 2016 is already looking forward to using some of Polymaker Industrial’s new materials, stating:
“We have always struggled casting thin walled [<1mm] wax patterns, the rapid expansion of the wax before melting can easily crack the investment, the ability to print non-solid models allows room for expansion internally. This is something we could never achieve with solid wax patterns. Many of our customers will be delighted to hear of the benefits this material offers.”
Polymaker Industrial offers the following:
- broad, growing portfolio of 3D printing materials
- custom material and application development
- contract manufacturing
Dr. Luo explained that the company’s major motivation in deciding to develop the new Polymaker Industrial product family was how quickly companies from a large range of industries either expressed an interest in 3D printing technology, or were actually adding 3D printers to their businesses.
“While the consumer & prosumer sector continues to do well, the growth in industrial has been quite significant, as companies are now starting to really see the benefits of 3D printing such as design & manufacturing flexibility, customization, shortening the supply chain, just to name a few. Those industrial customers have more diverse and yet specific requirements on materials, and also the purchasing behavior is different; introducing Polymaker Industrial as a separate product family allows us to serve industrial customers in a much better and more efficient way,” Dr. Luo said.
Dr. Luo explained that the company works closely with its customers to understand their needs and develop unique solutions. Through its new product line, Polymaker will be providing custom material development to customers whose requirements are not already being met by the company’s existing materials. The goal of Polymaker Industrial, according to its website, is simple and straightforward: “to deliver materials with the right combination of properties/functions, processability, and form” to suit the needs of all its customers.
Dr. Luo says that even before today’s launch, Polymaker has worked with several industrial customers, in the aerospace sector and some Fortune 500 companies, and that the company also leverages partnerships with printer manufacturers, chemical companies, and software developers so it can develop the best solutions for its customers. One customer that’s already trying out Polymaker Industrial is cloud factory 1001Hao, which provides a standardized online printing service and is home to the biggest in-house 3D printing factory in all of China.
1001Hao CEO Mr. Dean Lee said, “We are so pleased to have Polymaker Industrial as our partner. The wide range of high-quality materials offered in the Polymaker Industrial Range enables us not only to make top-quality parts consistently, but also to develop new applications and expand into new markets that would not be possible before. This helps us offer our customers more solutions to their prototyping and production needs.”
Polymaker Industrial’s materials portfolio will be available worldwide, even for clients who require high-volume shipping and bulk order placement. On its dedicated website, you can see all of its materials, which will be offered in a wide range of spool sizes and forms. If you happen to be in Shanghai this week for the TCT Asia show, stop by Polymaker’s split booth and take a look at both its new industrial materials and its standard ones. To learn more about its new PolyCast filament for the casting industry, check out the video below:
Discuss in the Polymaker forum at 3DPB.com.