Forward AM, the brand of BASF 3D Printing Solutions, received the first TÜV Rheinland certification for a 3D printing process used in the manufacturing of end parts for food contact. Since September 2021, the manufacturing process is officially approved and certified by TÜV Rheinland. In industrial manufacturing, the production of parts intended for food contact is obliged to meet the highest demands to protect human health. To be able to produce end parts approved for food contact use, the entire manufacturing process must be considered – from material production, through the 3D printing process, to the final end part and its packaging. Certification by TÜV Rheinland now officially confirms the strict product quality control and outstanding process reliability of food-industry 3D printing for the first time.
“With TÜV Rheinland certification we are closing a critical gap in the additive manufacturing of parts intended for food contact. This holistic solution means we are now able to offer our customers the production of officially safe food-contact parts”, explained Christian Reinhardt, Business Development Manager, BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “The TÜV certification proves that 3D printing has matured as manufacturing technology and is now able to produce highest-standard end parts in a fully controlled and audited process. What’s more, this certification confirms Forward AM’s aspiration to become the food industry’s leading consultancy and supplier for the manufacture of 3D printed food-contact parts.”
The safety of food contact materials needs to be very strictly evaluated to ensure that chemicals do not migrate from materials into food. The materials must be manufactured in full compliance with EU regulations, including Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) so that any potential transfer does not raise food safety concerns, impact the desired composition of the food, or have adverse effects on its taste and odor. To comply with these requirements, special processes and measurements were implemented in filament production by Forward AM to avoid any risk of cross-contamination. Parts printed with the filament Ultrafuse PET was tested accordingly to LFGB and Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 and met the requirements for food contact.
TÜV certification of the manufacturing process was initiated by a joint project with Replique and their customer Miele, the German premium domestic appliance manufacturer. Within the project 3D4U, Miele provides customers with 3D printed accessories through its online shop, including food-contact parts starting with a coffee clip. The fulfillment of 3D printed parts ordered in the Miele online shop is orchestrated by the integrated platform of Replique, startup of Chemovator GmbH, BASF. Realized with latest-generation desktop 3D printers by BCN3D, a leading Spanish developer and manufacturer of 3D printing solutions, food contact-safe products are produced at TÜV-certified quality, ensuring complete ease of mind for the end customer.