A comparative newcomer to the world of 3D printing materials, Braskem (NYSE: BAK) is the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas. This means that, when it did decide to get into the sector, it could do so aggressively by tackling its own niche of polyolefins for additive manufacturing, as well as biopolymers. Now, the company is expanding its market reach farther through the development of a new e-commerce platform from Xenon arc.
Braskem3D is a direct-to-consumer materials platform meant to sell Braskem 3D printing materials to small- to medium-sized business (SMB) customers. The site relies on Xenon’s directibility product, a data-driven e-commerce platform that includes a custom storefront, inventory, order fulfillment with integrated tracking, document management, and order support. Jason Vagnozzi, Braskem Commercial Director of Additive Manufacturing, explained exactly what this means:
“Directibility was engineered for client convenience and sustainability,” Vagnozzi said. “All our inventory, logistics, analytics, and client communication systems are integrated into one fully integrated and professionally supported online e-commerce platform. From product discovery through purchase and post-sale support we can deliver a better overall experience for our SMB clients.”
Braskem began releasing 3D printing materials during the COVID-19 pandemic, making its official trade show debut at RAPID 2022. There, it showcased its range of products that included polypropylene, polyethylene, recycled and bio-based polymers for fused filament fabrication (FFF), selective laser sintering (SLS), and high-speed pellet extrusion. A new business-to-business e-commerce platform will certainly elevate its customer experience and visibility. And Braskem isn’t the only chemical company using Xenon products.
Among the other banner users of Xenon are 3D printing materials manufacturers Arkema, DuPont, and Cargill, whose NatureWorks brand is the largest manufacturer of PLA in the world. Outside of those three, who are much bigger than AM itself, there are a series of other chemical companies, such as Polyventive, Axalta Coating Systems, and Momentive.
While they don’t necessarily operate in 3D printing, they demonstrate that Xenon may become one of the de facto ecommerce providers for materials businesses for chemical companies. Moreover, they show that platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify may not be sufficient for business-to-business sales. And, when it comes to 3D printing software, we can imagine that the opportunity exists beyond programs for managing parts and printers. Software developers can also target the retail space with data-driven ecommerce sites.
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