BASF establishes dedicated 3D printing company – BASF 3D Printing Solutions

German chemical company BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world, is set to form a dedicated 3D printing company.

The wholly owned subsidiary, BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH, is set to be launched September 1st 2017. The company will be headquarted in Heidelberg, Germany at the InnovationLab GmbH research facility.

3D printed airless tires that used BASF thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Image via BASF.
3D printed airless tires that used BASF thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Image via BASF.

Industrial application

BASF will be gearing its 3D printing solutions towards industrial applications. With typical industries expected to be “automotive, aerospace and consumer goods.” The new company is expected to employ 30 experts with many already working within BASF.

Future Managing Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH Volker Hammes explains the motivation for the new business. He believes the “field of 3D printing for industrial applications is highly dynamic and still emerging.”

“This means there is a need for agile, startup-like structures with interdisciplinary teams and quick decision-making processes. Combining the customer-focused 3D printing activities in one location at a dedicated business is an important success factor,”

Essentium Materials and BASF’s materials development. Photo via Essentium Materials.

Existing 3D printing partners

To develop its 3D printing solutions, the German chemical company states it will “work closely with researchers and application engineers from BASF and external partners, such as universities and potential customers.”

It will harness a number of existing partners within the 3D printing industry such as HP, Essentium Materials and Prodways.

The chemical company had a central role in developing materials for Essentium Materials’ innovative FlashFuse technology. While BASF has also provided its chemical expertise to HP.

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Featured image shows 3D printing materials. Image via BASF.