3D Printing

New 3D printing materials from BASF and Essentium Materials

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.

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

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,”

At AMUG 2018 Markus Josten of GKN Additive gave an introduction on scaling Ultrafuse Technology at existing manufacturing facilities. Photo by Michael Petch
At AMUG 2018 Markus Josten of GKN Additive gave an introduction on scaling Ultrafuse Technology at existing manufacturing facilities. Photo by Michael Petch

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.

BASF X400M photopolymer resin 3D printed samples. Photo via BASF
BASF X400M photopolymer resin 3D printed samples. Photo via BASF

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Featured image shows a print made using Essentium Materials’ FlashFuse process. Photo via Essentium.

BASF X400M photopolymer resin 3D printed samples. Photo via BASF
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