BASF Strengthens Collaboration with HP
BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, is teaming up with HP to offer new 3D printing materials to customers through the HP Multi Jet Fusion Open Platform. The HP Open Platform approach allows customers to select a material supplier, such as BASF, and engage with them directly to develop materials for specific 3D production applications.
BASF and HP are now strengthening the collaboration to accelerate the learning cycle on requirements and specifications necessary to develop materials for large-scale production. BASF is committed to integrating the ideas generated from this exchange to speed the development of a variety of new materials for enhanced 3D printing products. On an even broader scope, the company is increasing its activities in developing new material solutions for the 3D printing industry.
BASF has a broad product portfolio of materials that can be developed for 3D printing. Among them are an extensive range of engineering thermoplastics, polyurethanes, acrylate systems (e.g., photo-polymers), photoinitiators, functional additives, stabilizers, pigments as well as metal systems. This range of products serves as the basis for ready-for-use formulations for 3D printing. “BASF brings tremendous expertise in materials for mass production to the 3D printing industry,” explains Tim Weber, Global Head, 3D Materials & Advanced Applications, HP. “By partnering with companies that have a long history in developing new materials with customers in the manufacturing industry, we want to bring 3D printing from small batch series to industrial large-scale production”.
HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology is similar to 2D printing, in that a print-head applies agents in the envisioned shape on a polymer powder. The agents and powder are then exposed to energy to enable fusing. Due to the specific thermal conductivity of the agents, the polymer powder melts only in areas where the print head has applied the fusing agent and does not melt where the detailing agent has been applied. This process differs from the widely used laser sintering, in which the powder is applied and then melted bit by bit with a moving laser. Compared to other 3D printing technologies, HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology is set to accelerate large-scale production by a factor of up to ten while halving the costs.
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