BASF Forward AM Partners with Arkema to Increase Sustainability


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As part of #ProjectZero, Forward AM is reaffirming its commitment of contributing to a world that provides a viable future with enhanced quality of life for everyone and we have anchored this goal as part of our corporate purpose to “…create chemistry for a sustainable future.” Through this collaboration with Arkema, BASF Forward AM is embracing new technologies to not only increase sustainability but to step up as an environmental leader within the 3D printing industry. The key components of #ProjectZero are:

  • Developing sustainable products, solutions, and production methods
  • Studying the environmental impact of the 3D printing industry
  • Evolving how we work
  • Educating and encouraging our team to make responsible choices

Why take on this project?

To be better stewards of the earth as well as conservational trailblazers, Forward AM is taking major steps towards the significant reduction of powder waste, which has been a challenging point within the industry in terms of sustainability. But equally as important, we are also working to reduce emissions, water consumption, and energy consumption when it comes to material production.

Our commitment to sustainability also extends to the launch of Ultrasint® AP26 with a 100% recycle rate and highly recyclable Ultrasint® PP1400 Black, both innovative materials resulting in significantly reduced waste. We continue to focus our efforts on the production of recycled spools and optimized packaging, the creation and implementation of a Net Zero booth for fairs, and maintaining our pledge to completing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies and offering partners the ability to reduce their carbon footprint by offsetting emissions.

Through #ProjectZero, we are making a long-term commitment to reducing our impact on the planet by developing sustainable products, solutions, and production methods, while also studying the impact of the 3D printing industry and evolving the way we work through the education and encouragement of our team to make responsible choices.

Teaming up with Arkema

Arkema, a global organization headquartered in Colombes, France, is bringing innovative recycling options to both sides of the Additive Manufacturing supply chain – those who want to recycle their polymers, and those who wish to purchase partially recycled grades. Their Virtucycle® program is designed to help customers increase sustainability by focusing on polyamide 11 parts and powder.

As many powder materials are in fact recyclable, the large-scale collection of these by-products and unused parts is the challenging issue that both Forward AM and Arkema are addressing. “At Sculpteo we had a significant amount of waste powder that we were paying to dispose of either via landfill or incineration. But now we can be both more sustainable and environmentally responsible by recycling this material and giving it a second life. It helps make us a better service provider and provides a way for our customers to achieve their sustainability goals as well,” says Nicolas Mathian, Head of Marketing at Sculpteo.

Arkema’s recent acquisition of Agiplast, a high-performance polymer recycler/regenerator with a long history of high-performance polymer re-engineering, re-compounding, and re-certification, adds a new level of service to customers and companies looking to be better stewards of the environment. In addition to being the specialty recycler, Arkema plays the role of matchmaker among its customers looking for high performance recycled materials while playing a key role in eco-designing the finished product produced from the recycled material.

A partnership to benefit the planet

The Virtucycle® program from Arkema is helping Forward AM to change the landscape of the 3D printing industry by recycling used polyamides powders and printed parts, significantly reducing the need for costly and environmentally unfriendly landfilling or burning. The time is now to enable a durable society instead of a disposable society – to embrace longer service life, continuous use, and recover/recycling.

This innovative and sustainable solution for 3D used printed parts and powders is now being offered by Forward AM to interested customers to provide eco-design expertise, recyclability and recycling guarantees as well as recycled high-performance polymers to Arkema’s polymer customers and downstream users.

“As we look to the future of Additive Manufacturing, sustainability is and will continue to be an integral part of how we approach our business. We strive to be a steadfast partner to every one of our customers across a variety of industries and AM applications. We do this by not only providing our 3D printing expertise but also in working as a sustainable collaborator throughout the entire AM process. Along with partners like Arkema, Forward AM is driving innovation towards a future where 100% recyclability can be the norm. A goal that will take all of us working hand in hand, as the only way forward is together.” — Martin Back, Managing Director at BASF Forward AM

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