Global science company Royal DSM has announced a partnership with Origin, a San Francisco-based startup specializing in Open Additive Manufacturing. Through the collaboration, the companies will develop new materials and applications for 3D printing. The first material created through the partnership will be presented at the upcoming RAPID conference in Detroit.
The first material to be presented is a version of DSM’s Somos PerFORM photopolymer that has been optimized for Origin’s Programmable Photopolymerization (P3) technology. The material, Somos PerFORM HW, shares the same properties as the original material in terms of strength, stiffness and temperature resistance. The material has applications in aerodynamic modeling and rapid tooling.
“The quality and surface finish we’re seeing with Somos PerFORM HW on Origin’s P3 process are outstanding and unparalleled,” said Noud Steffens, Market Development Director Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “Origin provides an unprecedented degree of control so users can get consistent commercial-grade results using Somos PerFORM HW and soon other DSM materials.”
Origin’s P3 3D printing platform is an open resin printing system for mass production. The process is similar to SLA in that it relies on photopolymers, however P3 is oxygen-free. The innovative technology was first revealed at Formnext 2018, when Origin came out of stealth mode with the announcements of a $10 million Series A investment and materials partnership with BASF.
Its partnership with Royal DSM reinforces the startup’s commitment (as well as DSM’s) to build a global 3D printing ecosystem. An open materials platform, they believe, will be key to pushing additive manufacturing ahead to full industrialization.
“We’re excited that DSM is joining our open network of material partners and broadening the potential applications available to our users,” said Chris Prucha, Origin CEO and Co-Founder. “DSM is the market leader in world class photopolymers with decades of experience developing unique photo-reactive chemistries. Together we are addressing today’s manufacturing challenges for customers.”
The new SOMOS PerFORM HW material and P3 printing technology will be showcased by Royal DSM and Origin next week at RAPID. Other materials are expected to become available for Origin’s platform in the coming months.
Origin was founded in 2015 by Christopher Prucha and Joel Ong, who set out to produce parts for customers using open source 3D printers. Initially, the project used commercial 3D printers and was perhaps best known for its participation in the Beast Mode project, where it 3D printed thousands of smart tags for Marshawn Lynch’s Limited Edition Beast Mode shoes.
This particular project proved to be challenging, as Origin was faced with difficulties running its 3D printer farm 24/7 until all the products were complete. The company cited “unreliable hardware, limited software, and brittle materials” as its biggest challenges.
However, the Beast Mode project led Origin’s founders to embark on a much more ambitious project: to develop their own additive manufacturing platform that combines open materials, extensible software and modular hardware.