BASF Forward AM Reports 39% Growth in H1 2023, Outpacing 3D Printing Industry Trends


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In a positive mid-year report, BASF Forward AM announced impressive growth for the first half of 2023. Although specific revenue figures have not been disclosed, the brand, operating under BASF 3D Printing Solutions and based in Heidelberg, Germany, reported a 39% growth rate for the period, along with a 51% increase in its material business. This growth occurs against a backdrop of promising market trends in the 3D printing industry. According to parent company BASF (ETR: BAS), Additive Manufacturing Research / SmarTech Analysis forecasts determined that the sector grew at a rate of 23% in 2022.

Forward AM attributes much of its growth to its strategic emphasis on industry collaboration. The company has undertaken several high-impact projects aimed at creating additional value for its customers, teaming up with businesses such as machinery manufacturing experts IGO3D GmbH, and Sicnova 3D, or 3D printing service providers 3DGBIRE and 3D Prima.

According to AM Forward CEO and Managing Director Martin Back, “We have the team and tools in place to scale up our operations and I’m looking forward to the second half of the year. We’re going to continue working in tight collaboration with our partners and on delivering innovative solutions that create value for the market and prove that AM is the solution the manufacturing sector has been looking for.”

With a strong focus on a cross-technology approach, the company integrates high-quality materials, applications, and processes. The overarching goal is to deliver scalable solutions that address unmet market needs, doing so both quickly and on a global scale.

Ultrasim 3D Consulting. Image courtesy of BASF Forward AM.

Another strong point for Forward AM is its extensive portfolio of materials and solutions. Boasting over 800 machine-material combinations, the company stands as a global leader in providing a full range of materials and solutions across multiple technologies.

Deeply committed to ecological sustainability, the company claims it focuses on long-term strategies that strike a balance between profitability and environmental responsibility. These strategies include process optimizations that yield both cost and energy savings while contributing positively to long-term sustainability. Forward AM says it’s helping partners and customers gain more transparency along the value chain beyond the material production process. Furthermore, its sustainability service aims to calculate the environmental footprint of 3D printed parts made from BASF Forward AM materials.

When asked about these strategic initiatives, Back said, “The only way forward is together, and no one can win alone. Additive manufacturing is just a technology. But the value for customers is created when we align applications, materials and processes into a reliable, scalable solution. Think of a three-legged stool. If you take away one leg, the stool falls over. To create a stable solution, we need collaboration where partners align collectively behind the goal to provide the best solution and thus iteratively adapt until a stable and scalable solution is created.”

During the first quarter of 2023, the business had already announced strong sales revenue in Europe, boasting a 43% increase compared to the same quarter in the previous year. Although Forward AM’s actual earnings are not detailed in BASF’s umbrella company reports, this revenue growth is an encouraging sign for both the subsidiary and the broader 3D printing industry. As 3D printing technologies continue to advance and find applications across various sectors, companies like Forward AM appear well-positioned for long-term success.

Additional insights into the financial landscape of the 3D printing industry will be revealed at the 2024 edition of the Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) event in New York. Scheduled for February 6-8, the event’s seventh iteration promises to be a game-changer with an unprecedented roster of speakers.

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