Adaptive3D partners with DSM to commercialize Soft ToughRubber 3D printing resin

Adaptive3D, a Texas-based 3D printing resin specialist, has partnered with Dutch nutrition and materials multinational, DSM, to commercialize a resin-based soft rubber-like material. The material will be sold under the name Soft ToughRubber.

Walter Voit, founder and CEO of Adaptive3D Technologies, “Aside from new applications in consumer products and medical models, Soft ToughRubber adds to the available materials for manufacturers looking for sustainable options.”

“Thanks to additive manufacturing, we are able to reduce material waste in parts production. DLP printing also uses light instead of heat to cure materials, leading to dramatically lower energy consumption and a lower carbon footprint.”

High strain polymers

Adaptive3D produces high strain DLP/SLA resin materials. The founder of the company, Walter Voit, has extensive knowledge and experience of material sciences. He is a tenured professor of material sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) and has authored scientific papers like High-Strain Shape-Memory Polymers, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Furthermore, Voit is also the founder of Advanced Polymer Research Lab at UT Dallas, where the development of SLA 3D printing materials is the primary focus of research.

Adaptive3D was formally launched in 2014 with the help of a grant by the National Science Foundation, a U.S governmental agency supporting non-medical research. Earlier this year, Adaptive3D also secured funding in a Series A investment round led by DSM Venturing, the investment division of DSM, and Applied Ventures, a venture capital branch of Applied Materials, Inc.

Walter Voit, PhD, and CEO of Adaptive3D. Photo via Adaptive3D
Walter Voit, PhD, and CEO of Adaptive3D. Photo via Adaptive3D

Rubber resin 

One of the first materials that Adaptive3D introduced on the market was Damping ToughRubber, a rubber-like material, which the company considers to be the “world’s highest strain photopolymer.” This was showcased at RAPID + TCT 2018.

At this year’s RAPID + TCT show, Adaptive3D introduced the Soft ToughRubber. The material is marketed as the “world’s softest tough photopolymer.” According to Adaptive3D, the Soft ToughRubber will have a wide variety of uses in the consumer industry, in applications such as wearables, textiles, electronics, as well as specialist uses like anatomical models.

Adaptive3D’s partnership with DSM is likely to have a  significant impact, as DSM has of late publicly ventured in the 3D printing market. DSM’s recent collaborators include California-based DLP 3D printer manufacturer, Origin, and CEAD, a large-scale 3D printer supplier.

On the latest partnership with Adaptive3D, Noud Steffens, Market Development Director Additive Manufacturing at DSM, said, “This partnership allows us to combine DSM’s global supply chain and strong relationships in key markets with Adaptive3D’s proprietary material innovations.”

“Yet another example of how DSM’s commitment to build a global additive manufacturing ecosystem offers Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) across the globe access to cutting-edge materials.”

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Featured image shows ToughRubberTM 30.450. Photo via Adaptive3D