Forward AM, BASF’s 3D printing division, is making inroads in China, where it will be launching a new Additive Manufacturing Technical Center (AMTC). Established in cooperation with Chinese 3D additive manufacturing (AM) design and service provider Xuberance, the new Shanghai-based center is meant to deliver expertise and materials to the region, including China and beyond.
An ever-expanding presence in the 3D printing industry, Forward AM has rolled up multiple companies, including materials manufacturers and service bureau Sculpteo. It’s even formed relationships with two other leading service bureaus, Materialise and Shapeways. With the backing of the world’s largest chemical company, it is a force to be reckoned with. Now, at the AMTC, it will provide its 3D printing materials and engineering expertise.
Xuberance has been in operation since 2008, when it was founded by Steven Ma in Vienna before shifting to Shanghai to become “the first professional 3D printing design company in China,” according to the firm. There, it has provided a variety of design, research, and production services ranging from 3D printed wedding dresses to architecture.
Together, they will offer services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region through the AMTC. In particular, they are targeting global equipment manufacturers. The site boasts over 20 3D printers supplied by Forward AM, including selective laser sintering, photopolymer, and fused filament fabrication machines. Located at the Shanghai Lingang Songjiang Science Park, the AMTC will be able to collaborate with the other firms at the park.
“The establishment of the new AMTC in Shanghai marks an important step for us, as we are now able to offer customers in Asia-Pacific a perfectly integrated service – from consultancy, through our high-performance materials, to direct component printing and great design services for successful 3D printing. We are confident the AMTC will become a key hub for Additive Manufacturing in this region, strengthening our capability to co-innovate with our customers”, says François Minec, Managing Director BASF 3D Printing Solutions.
“For us, Forward AM’s cutting-edge materials and comprehensive industrial expertise, especially in simulation and surface finishing, ideally complement our expertise in services and design offerings. We are proud to jointly develop integrated and innovative solutions for Additive Manufacturing, tailored to customer needs in Asia-Pacific”, adds Leirah Wang, Managing Director Xuberance.
BASF Venture Capital has additionally invested in Xuberance to help it expand in the region, while building on BASF’s larger AM strategy. As Executive Editor Joris Peels has noted, China is quickly developing its AM sector as it becomes a provider of advanced manufacturing. By betting on a local firm, BASF is primed to take advantage of this rapid growth.
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