Global chemical company BASF, headquartered in Germany, knows that setting up partnerships with other innovative companies is key to getting ahead in the 3D printing industry.

In November, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH dedicated to additive manufacturing, announced that it was entering into a strategic alliance with German technology startup BigRep for developing industrial 3D printing solutions, including 3D printers and materials. As BigRep alluded to in our recent conversation, the two companies have now closed on their strategic partnership agreement.

Volker Hammes, Managing Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions, said, “With the combined skills of the two companies, this forward-looking partnership will allow our customers to accelerate the development of industrial applications.”

BigRep is one of the top providers in the world for large-format 3D printing technology for industrial applications, and its cooperation with BASF further solidifies its continued dedication to finding innovative solutions for engineering and manufacturing.

Now that the agreement has been finalized, BASF will become a BigRep preferred material and application development partner, and BASF Venture Capital, another BASF New Business subsidiary, will be investing in the startup to strengthen industrial 3D printing. BASF, which has the chemical industry’s most extensive portfolio of materials to be developed for 3D printing, will also be contributing its vast knowledge of materials and their industrial applications to the partnership.

“We aim to offer our customers the most innovative 3D printing solutions with BigRep printers. BASF’s expertise will help us to achieve the next level. BASF is a strong partner with access to global markets. Together, we can help our customers meet their challenges by providing innovative 3D printing production technologies,” said René Gurka, CEO of BigRep.

Metal parts made with BASF Ultrafuse 316LX stainless steel filament by FFF.

BASF has long been focused on further developing 3D printing materials, and with the launch of its wide range of industrial additive manufacturing solutions, including metal and plastic filaments and photopolymers, will be expanding into the 3D printing market in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

The company’s latest solutions allow for the production of complex parts and individual designs, which speeds up development cycles and makes manufacturing more flexible, while at the same time lowering the cost for small-scale production. At this week’s TCT Asia in Shanghai, BASF will be showcasing its new range of industrial 3D printing materials, which includes two new plastic filaments used to print stiff, strong parts: carbon fiber-filled polyethylene terephthalate (Innofil3D PET CF) and polyamide (Innofil3D PAHT CF).

BASF will also introduce its new family of Ultrasint PA6 (polyamide 6) materials for powder bed fusion, which can develop tough functional parts and includes variants for mineral-filled and flame retardent, and its photo-resin photopolymers for DLP and SLA 3D printing systems, ranging from a resin for parts with high temperature resistance and materials similar to PP and ABS. Finally, BASF will showcase its new metal filaments – an Ultrafuse stainless steel material, which allows FFF users to produce 100% metal parts.

You can see these new materials for yourself at the company’s booth N70 in Hall N1 at TCT Asia, which runs March 1-3 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

“Using 3D printing to produce individually shaped plastic and metal parts has now moved beyond design prototyping and is now becoming a widespread option for functional prototyping in Asia Pacific,” said Michael Tang, Senior Business Development Manager for 3D Printing, BASF Asia Pacific. “For this reason, Asia Pacific is predicted to be the fastest-growing region in the global 3D printing market. With our new offerings of 3D printing materials for open systems, we aim to meet the rising demand for 3D printing technology and to support the growth of key industries in Asia Pacific, including automotive, aerospace, and consumer goods.”

BASF has also established two 3D printing labs to develop and test industrial solutions for its customers – one at its 3D Printing Application Technology Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and the other at the BASF Innovation Campus Shanghai, China.

Staying in the APAC region, BASF and leading industrial 3D printing solutions provider Farsoon have signed a strategic agreement in order to provide customers in China with a new PA-based 3D printing material solution, as well as make 3D printing mass production possible.

This partnership builds on the previous collaboration between the two companies to advance high temperature 3D printing solutions, including the newly launched BASF Ultrasint PA6 X043 Black.

“This new breakthrough in 3D printing materials makes direct manufacturing possible, which further accelerates the industrialization of 3D printing in China,” said Dr. Xu Xiao Shu, Founder and Chairman of Farsoon. “In the future, Farsoon will continue to work closely with BASF to help customers enhance their equipment and material performance, while reducing production costs. We aim to offer customers a true additive manufacturing solution.”

Rear-view mirror housing made from BASF Ultrasint PA6 X043 with Farsoon HT403P.

High-performance Ultrasint PA6 X043 Black can help manufacturers print components with optimized shapes that are lighter weight and can hold up well under tough environments, making it a good choice for industries like consumer, automotive, and aerospace. The material is strong and competitively priced, with high heat distortion temperature and good recyclability.

“BASF is dedicated to developing high performance 3D printing materials like the Ultrasint PA6 series,” Tang explained. “We provide an open platform by working with our partners, such as Farsoon, to develop competitive 3D printing material solutions to realize future customer needs for mass production.”

Customers can really increase their productivity when the material is combined with Farsoon’s new HT1001P, HT252P, ST252P, and HT403P continuous additive manufacturing solutions (CAMS). The CAMS technology, along with BASF’s Ultrasint PA6 X043 Black material and the largest polymer powder bed system in the world – made by CAMS – will all be on display at TCT Asia this week.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

[Images: BASF]

 

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