BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, has announced its plans to establish a new company, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, as of September 1, 2017. This wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH will be headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, at the site of InnovationLab GmbH.
BASF 3D Printing Solutions will focus on establishing and expanding BASF’s business with materials, system solutions, components and services in the field of Additive Manufacturing. The company will work closely with researchers and application engineers from BASF and external partners, such as universities and potential customers, in order to develop the right solutions for a wide array of requirements.
“The field of 3D printing for industrial applications is highly dynamic and still emerging,” stated Volker Hammes, Managing Director at BASF New Business and future Managing Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “This means there is a need for agile, start up-like structures with interdisciplinary teams and quick decision-making processes. Combining the customer-focused 3D printing activities in one location at a dedicated business is an important success factor.”
According to BASF, the main part of the new company’s customers will be firms looking to use Additive Manufacturing for industrial production in industries such as automotive, aerospace and consumer goods. In order to be able to develop and test a variety of solutions, BASF 3D Printing Solutions will take control of and expand
In order to be able to develop and test a variety of solutions, BASF 3D Printing Solutions will take control of and expand the its subsidiary Deutsch Nanoschicht GmbH’s application technology. The new company will initially employ around 30 experts, many of whom were already working for BASF in AM.
This announcement follows the our reported adaptation of BASF’s Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology for metal Additive Manufacturing with Ultrafuse 316LX, for use in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) systems. Ultrafuse 316LX is metal-polymer composite filament with a non-slip surface, allowing its application in any bowden or direct drive extruder.
Its high flexibility allows it to be funnelled through complex idler pulleys as well as guide roller filament transportation systems. Once formed, the parts undergo a standard debinding and sintering process introduced to the MIM market by BASF in the 1980s. Catalytic debinding removes the polymer from the part and sintering in pure hydrogen or a vacuum results in the finished metal part.
The whole process is said to be faster and less expensive than offered by existing SLM systems.