BASF acquires two manufacturers of 3D printing materials
BASF is expanding its presence in the field of 3D printing with the announcement of two acquisitions. BASF New Business GmbH (BNB) has acquired all the shares of Advanc3D Materials GmbH in Hamburg and France-based Setup Performance SAS.
Advanc3D Materials offers advanced, tailor-made plastic powders and formulations for selective laser sintering (SLS) together with process knowhow. Setup Performance, which operates a production site in Lyon, is Advanc3D Materials’ most important partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials. BNB is integrating both companies into its subsidiary, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS).
“Following our acquisition of Innofil3D last year and the consequent strengthening of our market presence in plastic filaments for layer extrusion we are now in similar fashion expanding our market access in the area of powder bed fusion. The portfolio complements our existing range, being perfectly suited to products such as polyamide 11, polyamide 12 and polypropylene,” said Dr. Dietmar Bender, Vice President Manufacturing & Technology at BNB. In April, B3DPS introduced a new PA6 material for selective laser sintering that can easily be processed on most SLS machines commonly used in the market today.
Advanc3D Materials is already well established in the market, offering a wide range of products as well as comprehensive market and application expertise. A consistent, finely ground powder, UV stabiliser additions and good free flow are among the elements required to enable the materials to be used in 3D printing. Setup Performance is Advanc3D’s contract manufacturer and development partner. The company’s product & process development and production site in Lyon is noted for its high efficiency and short development cycles for new products.
“This know-how, the infrastructure and the advanced materials are a perfect complement for us,” noted Dr. Bender. Existing and new customers, especially in the automotive and consumer goods industries, can now benefit from the expanded portfolio of B3DPS. “This acquisition is a further step toward our objective to become a leading supplier of powder-based materials and formulations for industrial 3D printing,” he added.
3D printing is gaining in importance
The production of individually formed plastic parts through additive layer manufacturing by a 3D printing process is becoming increasingly important in the industry. One production method is SLS. Using a three-dimensional structural design, a laser draws the shape of an object in a powder such as polyamide. The material hit by the laser melts and the required 3D object is produced layer by layer. Up until now, many complex plastic parts had to be produced by injection moulding. The significant advantages of 3D printing include lower costs in small series and much faster production, because no mould is required. Parts manufacturers can thus react much faster to customer requests and meet individual customer requirements much more easily.
Chemical Weekly Issue date: 17th July 2018