Over the past two decades, global science-based company Royal DSM has emerged as one of the big names in the additive manufacturing industry, thanks in large part to its AM arm and materials developer Somos and its business in SLA and DLP resins. This year alone, the company has introduced a new high-temperature 3D printing material, announced a collaboration between Somos and 3D Hubs, and joined the collaborative Family of the Future effort to advance additive manufacturing as a partner organization. In a similar vein, DSM has now announced that it will be aligning all of its AM activities in a new organization focused on customers within its Materials cluster.
“AM is quickly evolving from a prototyping technology on the fringes of manufacturing into a mainstream discipline, offering tangible value and economically viable benefits to large industrial companies and eventually through to end-users. Mass customization and small volume production using AM are now a reality, and as the sector evolves and matures to reflect new, disruptive business models and shifting customer behaviours, so must we,” said Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “SLA is our heritage; however we can play in all polymer printing technologies, we can deliver in all areas. What is important is what is best for the customer.”
In order to offer its customers a flexible infrastructure, the company’s new integrated business, DSM Additive Manufacturing, will sharpen its focus on AM and R&D, promote a partnership approach, and build on the wealth of experience from all of its existing materials businesses, including Somos. The new business will focus first on four specific market segments that are already strongly committed to AM technology – apparel, healthcare, tools and electronics, and transportation. DSM Additive Manufacturing will help these customers find the proper production systems and materials for their 3D printing needs. Additionally, since it’s aligning all of its AM activities past DLP and SLA, DSM will also be offering FFF 3D printing materials, and has been researching multiple other 3D printing processes, ranging from Multi Jet Fusion and SLS to Binder Jet and Ink Jet.
“Somos has provided us with a deep understanding of key market segments and end-customer needs in the AM space. We continue to introduce major innovations in SLA and DLP materials, but this is only a part of the total AM picture, and we want to cover the entire area,” said da Silva.
“Right now, there is a lot of excitement around Fused Filament Fabrication and DSM has a growing portfolio of materials for this technology, including Novamid polyamide and Arnitel thermoplastic elastomer. But we intend to go much further, extending our innovation efforts – supported by technology partnerships and industry collaboration – to develop new solutions for SLS, Multi Jet Fusion, Ink Jet and Binder Jet. We also want to explore new and emerging technologies in AM as they graduate from research, giving us the industry’s broadest solutions portfolio.”
The company’s future AM strategy rests on what it refers to as the ecosystem approach – by using collaborations and partnerships as the foundation of the DSM organization, the company will be able to give customers a flexible infrastructure.
“Providing the right material and the right platform for specific applications is key to accelerate adoption of 3D Printing into manufacturing,” said da Silva. “Collaboration in the industry will allow more applications to benefit from the great advantages of AM, at an affordable cost.”
DSM already has multiple AM collaborations, such as its recent “One DSM” framework technology partnership agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), which involves all of DSM’s businesses that supply technology and materials to the automotive sector, including Dyneema, Engineering Plastics, and Somos. The company also plans to work with HP to develop materials and solutions to bring to market; DSM recently acquired its Multi Jet Fusion Materials Development Kit to try and kickstart 3D printing powder development.
DSM is exhibiting the new organization’s market focus in AM at formnext 2017 this week in Frankfurt, highlighting the following materials:
- Somos Taurus, the first SLA material to combine mechanical strength, impact performance, and thermal resistance.
- Novamid ID 1030-KS, the first FDM/FFF material with a UL 94 V-0 rating, so it can create UL-certified small-series FFF/FDM parts for industrial applications.
- Arnitel ID 2060-HT, which can reduce development time for under-the-hood engine components hot and cold charge air ducts thanks to its mechanical properties and chemical and heat resistance.
You can find DSM at formnext this week at stand C29 in Hall 3.0.
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