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BASF partners to develop of 3D-printed functional parts

The partnership with 3D printing technology company Essentium Materials seeks to surpass current boundaries of fused filament fabrication technology.


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May 8, 2017 by Canadian Plastics

Germany-based chemical supplier BASF is partnering with 3D printing technology company Essentium Materials to create more robust parts for mass production by leveraging that company’s fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology.

In a statement, BASF said it brings to the partnership the most comprehensive portfolio of innovative materials in the chemical industry, while Essentium – which is headquartered in College Station, Tex. – provides its FlashFuse electric welding technology, which enhances layer-to-layer adhesion of 3D printed parts.

The companies report that they are combining their core strengths to provide a range of polymer solutions that overcome the traditional interlayer weakness of 3D printed parts. Essentium’s FlashFuse technology performs in-situ welding, which can be applied to multiple open-system FFF printer platforms. This electric welding technology helps boost isotropy, an indicator for the homogeneity of a structure, and ramps up vertical strength and mechanical toughness of the printed parts.

The benefit of FFF printing technology, BASF said, lies in its compatibility with a range of thermoplastics, the capability to fabricate large, complex parts rapidly and efficiently, and the opportunity to easily combine multiple materials in the same printed part. In addition, FFF is said to be uniquely suited to provide printed parts that are both structural and composed of filaments loaded with functional fillers.

“I am confident that our collaboration with Essentium will enable the creation of 3D-printed functional parts and make the technology accessible to a broader range of industrial customers,” said Kara Noack, head of BASF’s 3D printing business in North America.