Forward AM, an Additive Manufacturing solutions brand of BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, has opened a new Additive Manufacturing Applications Technology Center (ATC) in Detroit, Michigan, USA, in cooperation with Michigan State University (MSU). This follows the opening of the company’s AMTC in Shanghai, China in August. The ATC will reportedly serve as the hub of expertise for solutions in the North American AM market.
The cooperation is said to combine the strengths of the company and the university in order to offer customers fully integrated AM solutions. Forward AM contributes with a wide range of high-performance Additive Manufacturing materials and rich engineering expertise, while MSU brings years of technical expertise and the motivation to be on the cutting edge of new ideas to support the next generations of AM services and design solutions.
“With this step we are significantly strengthening our offerings in North America,” stated François Minec, Managing Director BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “By collaborating with Michigan State University, we create a unique combination of science and industry expertise – ideal conditions to drive innovation in Additive Manufacturing together with our customers.”
Through the ATC, new value-adding technical services are available to customers, such predictive modelling, increasing innovation potential with customers across North America. Forward AM has installed more than twenty AM machines of various AM technologies such as Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) and Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) at the ATC.
The cooperation between Forward AM and MSU is complemented with an investment by BASF Corporation in the Scale-up Research Facility (SuRF) space. This investment is said to be strengthening BASF’s strategy in Additive Manufacturing and its pursuit toward more sustainable industrial solutions. The ATC is expected to enable shared resources that combine education and industry to drive the industrialisation of AM in the Americas.
Doug Gage, vice president for Research, and Innovation Michigan State University, commented, “MSU is committed to strong industry partnerships as an engine to drive innovation, economic opportunities, and skills development that meet emerging technology needs. The Scale-up Research Facility (SuRF) in Detroit, established with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Department of Energy through the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation, is a prime example of the effectiveness of place-based innovation.”
He added, “BASF has been among MSU’s strongest partners at the SuRF, and we are extremely pleased to expand our relationship to assist in establishing the BASF Applications Technology Center within the SuRF space. We are confident this collaboration will result in significant advances in Additive Manufacturing, new workforce development opportunities, and sustainable economic growth.”