Plastic 3D printing continues to struggle with moving beyond the prototype phase due to a lack of durability and strength of the printed parts. BASF and Essentium are teaming up to enable the creation of more robust parts for use in mass production leveraging fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology, or extrusion.
BASF brings to the partnership a portfolio of innovative materials in the chemical industry while Essentium provides its FlashFuse electric welding technology, which enhances layer to layer adhesion of 3D printed parts.
Both companies are combining their core strengths to provide a range of polymer solutions that overcome the traditional interlayer weakness of 3D printed parts. Essentium’s FlashFuse technology performs in-situ welding which can be applied to multiple open system FFF printer platforms. This electric welding technology helps boost isotropy, an indicator for the homogeneity of a structure, and ramps up vertical strength and mechanical toughness of the printed parts.
The companies are focusing on FFF printing technology because of its ability to use a range of thermoplastics, fabricate large, complex parts rapidly and efficiently, and easily combine multi-modality materials in the same print. In addition, FFF provides printed parts that are both structural and composed of filaments loaded with functional fillers.
“BASF is committed to advancing 3D printing to the next level across all major additive manufacturing technologies,” said Kara Noack, Head of BASF’s 3D-Printing business in North America. “I am confident that our collaboration with Essentium will enable the creation of 3D printed functional parts and make the technology accessible to a broader range of industrial customers.”
“Essentium Materials’ distinctive FlashFuse technology addresses one of the prevalent challenges for achieving isotropic 3D printed parts,” said Dr. Blake Teipel, Essentium’s President and CTO. “Our partnership with BASF will provide robust and strong 3D printing solutions for extremely demanding applications.”