BASF 3D Printing Solutions is a subsidiary of BASF SE, the largest chemical producer in the world, focusing on expanding the company’s materials, components and service offerings for 3D printing. The company is collaborating with Essentium Materials, the Texas-based creator of the FlashFuse FDM electric welding process, to create new filaments under the “Ultrafuse” name as well as establishing a global distribution network for plastic filaments.
Ultrafuse, a new family of filaments
The agreement will place a number of the companies’ 3D printing filaments under the Ultrafuse umbrella, including Ultrafuse Z, a filament based on BASF materials developed by Essentium for its FlashFuse process.
BASF 3D Printing Solutions marketing and sales manager, Firat Hirzal, says the collaboration allows the company “to provide a special material [Ultrafuse Z] that allows printing components with optimum strength in the z-direction,”
New 3D printing materials
Last year, BASF began collaborating with Essentium to produce stronger 3D parts for FFF/FDM 3D printing.
Both companies plan on releasing industrial filled and flame-retardant filaments over the course of 2018.
BASF has developed a grey PA 6-based powder, “Ultrasint PA6 X085,” for SLS processes. The powder melts at 193°C and is able to be processed on most SLS machines, producing parts with high strength and stiffness for automotive or consumer goods industries.
The company is also developing UV-reactive materials such as “Photo-Resin X004M”, optimised for SLA and Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printers, where a light source placed beneath the printing bed is used to solidify resins.
BASF is working with British industrial inkjet company Xaar, on research improving the Photopolymer Jetting 3D printing process. Last year AON3D announced it was developing performance 3D printer filaments in collaboration with Essentium Materials.
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Featured image shows a print made using Essentium Materials’ FlashFuse process. Photo via Essentium.