BASF invests in Chinese 3D printing developer Prismlab
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The investment will enable Prismlab to further develop its pixel resolution enhanced 3D printing technology.
In its first direct investment in a Chinese company, chemical maker BASF SE has advanced its 3D printing ambitions by acquiring Prismlab, a Shanghai-based firm that has developed a patented high-speed, high-precision and low-cost 3D printing process.
The investment was made through BASF’s investment arm, BASF Venture Capital GmbH.
In a statement, Germany-based BASF said its investment “will enable Prismlab to further accelerate its product development and innovation while strengthening its market reach to the global market.”
Prismlab has developed a patented 3D printing process, “pixel resolution enhanced technology”, based on stereolithography (SLA). SLA allows comparatively large components to be produced using light-curing resins. “Prismlab’s technology increases the printing resolution without compromising printing speed,” BASF said. “In order to increase the amount of energy brought into a pixel, Prismlab’s technology divides each pixel in the resin into several small sections, which can be cured individually by exposure to LCD light. This makes the energy input into each pixel significantly higher than similar processes that expose each pixel to light once. This allows comparatively large and stable components or numerous parts to be printed in the same production step. With the use of LCD light, it also reduces process costs. This advantage opens opportunities in the footwear and furniture industry.”
Prismlab also markets 3D printers and other related services, BASF said.