Henkel strengthens additive manufacturing materials offering with purchase of Molecule Corp

German chemical manufacturing giant Henkel has acquired American 3D printing and industrial inkjet company Molecule Corp. Illustrative of a strengthening in its additive manufacturing materials portfolio, the new purchase is a step toward Henkel’s aim of becoming a leading brand within the sector.

Philipp Loosen, Head of 3D Printing at Henkel said, “Molecule’s strong 3D printing and inkjet resin technologies and digital development capabilities perfectly complement and strengthen our materials portfolio and build on our approach to offer a comprehensive range of customized additive manufacturing solutions.”

Growing Henkel’s additive materials portfolio  

Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, Henkel is responsible for producing global adhesive brands such as Sellotape and Locktite, as well as consumer brands Persil and Fa.

Henkel entered the 3D printing materials market in 2016 and has been steadily building its portfolio since then. In June 2018 it opened a 700 square meter multi million Euro facility in Ireland to develop new advanced additive materials. More recently, it joined silicon valley 3D printing startup Origin’s Open Material Network, which aims to develop additive manufacturing materials for mass production. It has also developed a number of bespoke products for private customers.

Founded in 2014 and based in in the San Francisco Bay Area, Molecule Corp have developed a broad range of additive manufacturing materials as well as expertise in medical devices, aerospace, automotive and consumer goods. Its range of additive materials include, but are not limited to, Ms Medical Silicone, polymer Pt Tough and Xc Photoplastic Polycarbonate. It also sells post processing materials like Ce Eco Clean a water based cleaner, and casting products like Ci Investment Castable.   

A 3D printed object using Molecule Corp material. Photo via Molecule Corp.

Gearing up for the industrialisation of additive manufacturing

Ken Kisner, Founder and President of Molecule Corp commented on his company joining the chemical giant, “Henkel’s customer centered approach along with our combined product portfolio will help key industries accelerate the speed of innovation and move 3D printing from prototyping to digital manufacturing,” he said.

Henkel’s purchase of Molecule Corp is in line with a plan for making ‘targeted acquisitions’ in 3D printing and technology companies. Michael Todd, head of Innovation at Henkel Adhesives Technologies added, “Molecule’s technology and engineering center in California also broadens our global 3D printing footprint.”

“We now provide 3D printing support to our customers in all major regions around the world.”

Molecule Corp will be present at Henkel’s booth number 609 during the 2019 RAPID + TCT show which takes place from May 21 to 23 in Detroit.

A selection of 3D printed objects using Henkel-developed resin. Photo via Henkel
A selection of 3D printed objects using Henkel-developed resin. Photo via Henkel

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Featured image shows Henkel sign outside it HQ in Germany, Photo via Henkel.