Materialise becomes first to offer BASF TPU material for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing

Belgian software and 3D printing service provider Materialise has announced it is expanding its portfolio of 3D printing materials with the inclusion of the Ultrasint thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) 01 from German chemical company BASF. This new material is designed for HP’s new Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 5200 Series of 3D printers. 

Materialise is reportedly the first company to make BASF’s new TPU powder available through its online platforms Materialise OnSite and i.materalise, as well as its offline prototyping and manufacturing services. “For nearly three decades Materialise has offered its customers access to the latest and most innovative products, technologies and manufacturing infrastructure,” states Pieter Vos, Marketing Director at Materialise Manufacturing. 

“Together with our customers we continuously look for new opportunities to create true business value using 3D printing technology. Today’s announcement confirms that ambition.” 

Lattice structure made from BASF TPU. Photo via Materialise.
Lattice structure made from BASF TPU. Photo via Materialise.

Developing materials for multi-jet fusion technology

BASF’s Ultrasint TPU 01 material was explicitly designed for use in HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers, as the company’s 3D printing subsidiary B3DPS is a certified materials partner for the MJF systems. The powder’s printing parameters have been optimized by the company for enhanced handling and to accelerate processing times of MJF printers. 

The TPU material was developed out of HP’s desire to create application-driven materials for Jet Fusion technology. When the 5200 series of 3D printers was released, HP revealed three case studies showcasing the capabilities of the 5200 3D printer combined with Ultrasint TPU

Materialise was identified as an early tester of the HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D printer and Ultrasint TPU material, and has worked towards developing innovative solutions for the material. It will now offer Ultrasint TPU for design and engineering professionals, as well as the creative community. 

When the MJF 5200 series of 3D printers was released, it was revealed that Materialise was an initial partner of the new HP Digital Manufacturing Network. HP announced it would integrate the new systems within the Materialise’s Build Processor and Magics 3D Print Suite. Materialise will also be using Jet Fusion machines to deliver 3D printed parts to the European market. During RAPID + TCT 2019, Materialise announced an expansion to its partnership with HP to provide its customers with a seamless connection between the Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite and HP Jet Fusion printing systems. 

3D printed Kupol helmet, made on the HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series using ULTRASINT TPU. Image via Kupol
3D printed Kupol helmet, made on the HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series using ULTRASINT TPU. Image via Kupol

Unlimited design possibilities

BASF’s new Ultrasint TPU powder is a fully-functional material with flexible properties, making it ideal for resistant and elastic parts. Its flexibility combined with its shape recovery and shock absorption qualities also make it a good choice for small series production of protective housings and covers. BASF describes Ultrasint TPU 01 as especially suited for the production of lattice structures, with the potential of offering “unlimited design possibilities.”  

The material features durable elasticity and abrasion resistance, proving suitable for  prototyping and manufacturing applications like air ducts, complex tubing, grippers and seals, as well as footwear and other wearables. Furthermore, TPU provides intricate detailing and a smooth surface quality for 3D printed parts, while also delivering excellent part accuracy, a well-balanced and strong property profile. 

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Featured image shows product manufactured using BASF TPU. Photo via Materialise.