Materialise, BASF, and Essentium partner to advance high-speed 3D printing

Materialise, an award-winning Belgian 3D printer manufacturer and software company, has partnered with BASF, the largest chemical producer, and Essentium, a Texas-headquartered high-speed 3D printer manufacturer, to advance high-speed additive manufacturing.

Bart Van der Schueren, Materialise’ Chief Technology Officer, said, “Materialise, Essentium and BASF share a vision for growth in the 3D printing industry that builds on the creation of meaningful applications in an open and vibrant ecosystem.”

“This partnership helps to promote a more open market model, which will fuel the adoption of 3D printing in the industrial field by offering users more control, more choice in materials and ultimately lower cost and higher volumes.”

High-speed extrusion (HSE) 3D printer

Essentium is working to bring high-speed and high-strength FDM printing to the market. The company has developed FlashFuse technology to improve Z-strength in FDM printing. FlashFuse uses filament coated with carbon nanotubes which become active at the provision of electromagnetic energy and heat. This creates a stronger bond between layers.  

FlashFuse technology is used in Essentium’s High Speed Extrusion (HSM) FDM printer. According to the company, the HSE system is 10 times faster and 5 times more precise than traditional FDM printers. Its extruder uses only straight-line motion motors without any belts or pulleys and has a movement speed greater than 1 m per second. The nozzle of the extruder is 75mm tall with a wear-resistant sapphire tip.

Apart from excelling in hardware, Essentium has worked with BASF to develop materials for the HSE, including engineering-grade filaments. The two partners now plan to establish a global materials supply chain network for the HSE.

Complementing the hardware and materials side, Materialise has joined forces with BASF and Essentium to develop 3D printing software for the HSE system.

Dr. Blake Teipel, CEO of Essentium, said, “Essentium is also delighted to begin a new partnership with Materialise as the three companies focus efforts toward a new era for smart solutions in the global additive extrusion space. Together, we believe manufacturers everywhere will be able to accelerate production due to increased access to our new solutions, bolstered by a holistic, customer-centric approach.”

Essentium can be visited at formnext 2018, Hall 3.1-J50.

A print made using Essentium Materials' Flashfuse process. Photo via Essentium.
A print made using Essentium Materials’ Flashfuse process. Photo via Essentium.

BASF and Materialise in the additive manufacturing industry

BASF has invested considerably in additive manufacturing. The chemical group formed a partnership with Photocentric to develop photopolymer materials and 3D printers for mass production. Bringing more materials to the market, at formnext 2018, BASF’s subsidiary BASF 3D Printing Solutions introduced photopolymers and laser sintering materials.

Furthermore, to strengthen its partnership with Materialise, BASF  has also invested $25 million in the software company.

Materialise is known for bringing the e-Stage 3D printing software, which generates easily removable support in metal 3D printing.

Recently, Materialise launched Magics 23 software, bringing further automation to features to metal 3D printing, including automatic support generation.

People interested in the capabilities of Materialise’ software can visit formnext 2018, Hall 3.0, Stand C48

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Featured image shows an AM build plate with titanium 3D prints using e-Stage for metal. Photo via Materialise.