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DSM developing first commercial PBT powder for SLS 3D printing

The beta PBT powder will be officially announced at AMUG next week

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At the AMUG conference in Chicago next week, Dutch global sciences company Royal DSM will present a beta version of its new PBT powder product for 3D printing. The material marks the company’s first powder-based material for the additive manufacturing industry. Up until now, Royal DSM’s 3D printing portfolio has largely focused on polymer filaments and resins.

As a diamond sponsor of the annual AMUG conference, Royal DSM is preparing for a big showing next week. Not only will the company be unveiling a beta version of its first polymer powder for 3D printing, but DSM experts will also be presenting at various points during the event. Over the course of the conference, DSM plans to put an important emphasis on the sustainable potential of AM.

“Tomorrow, the entire manufacturing industry should see AM as a viable route to sustainable production,” said Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “This requires an accelerated adoption of AM technology. At DSM we are looking at all options to support this development. We are moving quickly to introduce new materials and collaborate with partners as and where possible.”

The new PBT powder that the company will announce is the first product by the company developed specifically for selective laser sintering. In fact, DSM specifies that the material is actually the first PBT powder to be made commercially available for SLS 3D printing. PBT, or Polybutylene terephthalate, is a thermoplastic engineering polymer with applications in the electronics industry thanks to its insulating properties.

DSM PBT powder SLS
Royal DSM Vice President of Additive Manufacturing, Hugo da Silva

Recently, DSM has ramped up its 3D printing materials development with the intention of growing its portfolio. On this journey, the material sciences company has partnered with a range of 3D printing companies, including Ultimaker, Fortify, Xstream, Formfutura, Adaptive3D, Chromatic and more.

The new PBT powder (still in its beta phase) is the first material developed from DSM’s technology platform of new powders, which it is seeking to co-develop with customers. By working with industry customers, DSM can ensure that its 3D printing powder material meets market requirements and specific applications needs.

“Our prime ambition is to unleash the full potential of additive manufacturing and to increase adoption in the manufacturing industry,” commented Da Silva. “That is why we are proud to announce the first beta PBT powder of our technology platform in co-development with the market. The final outcome will suit the needs of our customers even better.”

He added: “At DSM, we like to offer our customers choices; and as we cannot do everything ourselves, we are always on the lookout for new partnerships. This is exactly how the 3D printing ecosystem matures further. Some of our partners (such as printer manufacturers) play elsewhere in the value chain while others are materials companies. They help us bring an expanded portfolio to our customers—exemplified by our ventures with Adaptive3D (DLP) and Chromatic 3D (Thermoset 2K Extrusion) and a partnership with Fortify (DLP).”

Da Silva will give a presentation about 3D printing and the importance of sustainability on the first full day of the AMUG conference (April 1, 2019). Throughout the event, DSM will participate in a number of other discussions. On Wednesday, for instance, Jill Cohen, Global Director of Marketing and Sales for AM at DSM will moderate a panel on how the DSM ecosystem can be built up to increase the adoption of AM.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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