Prodways Group, a French maker of 3D printers, has announced the sale of its technology to two leading chemical companies, BASF and DSM, as well as a third, unnamed French industrial chemistry firm.
BASF has been a strategic partner of Prodways since 2016, as well as the owner of the company’s comparatively low-cost SLS system, the ProMaker P1000. Prodways has now stated that BASF has acquired new SLS printers for both R&D and part manufacturing. Key to the use of the machines is the fact they print at the high temperatures necessary to process the PA6 materials developed by BASF, as well as polypropylene.
Similarly, DSM has purchased two ProMaker P2000 ST systems, meant for high-temperature SLS materials, in order to test its powders for use in manufacturing. Prodways will also selling DSM’s new nylon Arnite AM1210 SLS powder, which exhibits electrical, mechanical and flame-retardant properties that could serve for electrical applications.
Additionally, Prodways has sold a ProMaker P1000 to a French chemical company, which will allow the firm to design and test new products. The P1000 is the result of in-house work on technology developed by a startup it acquired in 2016, Norge Systems. As demonstrated by these acquisitions by chemical companies, the system could be used for materials testing at a cost lower than other industrial SLS 3D printers in the space.
The news comes on the heels of a 3DPrint.com story on AddUp, another French company that is starting to expand its 3D printing process portfolio. In that article, describing a recent partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, we halfheartedly suggested that AddUp might be looking to push Prodways out of the market. While AddUp may be backed up by Michelin and French engineering company Fives, its process collection is still limited to just two technologies: laser beam melting and directed energy deposition.
At this point, Prodways, a subsidiary of the larger Gorgé Group, has a broader portfolio, consisting of plastic DLP, ceramic DLP and plastic SLS, as well as wax jetting via its acquisition of Solidscape. Though not listed on its site, Prodways has also created a form of DED called Rapid Additive Forging, which has its own dedicated website. Via its partnership with Farsoon, there’s a possibility that Prodways could introduce metal sintering 3D printers any day.
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