BASF New Business GmbH (BNB) has acquired all the shares of Advanc3D Materials GmbH in Hamburg and Setup Performance SAS in Lyon. Following the acquisition of Dutch filament maker Innofil3D last year, this marks yet another major step forward in BASF’s strategy to occupy the 3D printing materials market, making moves in polymers, ceramics and bioink segments – including being a part of HP’s 3D printing materials developers.
We’ve covered Advanc3D Materials as a provider of advanced, tailor-made plastic powders and formulations – including short fiber composites – for selective laser sintering (SLS) together with process know-how. Setup Performance, which operates a production site in Lyon, is Advanc3D Materials’ most important partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials. BNB is integrating both companies into its subsidiary BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS).
“Following our acquisition of Innofil3D last year and the consequent strengthening of our market presence in plastic filaments for layer extrusion we are now in similar fashion expanding our market access in the area of powder bed fusion. The portfolio complements our existing range, being perfectly suited to products such as polyamide 11, polyamide 12 and polypropylene,” said Dr. Dietmar Bender, Vice President Manufacturing & Technology at BNB. In April, B3DPS introduced a new PA6 material for selective laser sintering that can easily be processed on most SLS machines commonly used in the market today.
Advanc3D Materials is already well established in the market, having formed partnerships with other major players such as Arkema (it will be interesting to see how this will be affected by the BASF acquisition), Axalta and Trinseo. The company offers comprehensive market and application expertise, along with a wide selection of AM products. A consistent, finely ground powder, UV stabilizer additions and good free flow are among the elements required to enable the materials to be used in 3D printing.
“We are looking forward to being part of BASF. This will enable us to expand and further develop new formulations for the industrial additive manufacturing activities of our customers all over the world,” explained François Minec, Managing Director of Advanc3D.
Setup Performance is Advanc3D’s contract manufacturer and development partner. The company’s product & process development and production site in Lyon is known for its high efficiency and short development cycles for new products.
“This know-how, the infrastructure, and the advanced materials are a perfect complement for us,” says Dietmar Bender. Existing and new customers, especially in the automotive and consumer goods industries, can now benefit from the expanded portfolio of B3DPS. “This acquisition is a further step toward our objective to become a leading supplier of powder-based materials and formulations for industrial 3D printing.”
BASF’s strategy is based on the awareness that the production of individually formed plastic parts through additive layer manufacturing by a 3D printing process is becoming increasingly important in the industry. The company is particularly zooming in on selective laser sintering (SLS) as an alternative to production complex plastic parts by injection molding. Driving this approach are the significant advantages that BASF has identified in 3D printing, including lower costs in small series and much faster production because no mold is required and the ability for part manufacturers to react much faster to customer requests and meet individual customer requirements much more easily.