BASF officially launches Ultrafuse 316L bound metal filament

iGo3D, Ultimaker and MatterHackers selected as resellers

After first presenting it almost two years ago at Formnext, BASF 3D Printing Solutions is now officially launching its Ultrafuse 316L metal-polymer composite filament to use with open material extrusion (fused filament fabrication or FFF) 3D printers. The materials is riding on the “wave” of bound metal filament systems started by companies like Desktop Metal and Markforged, enabling safe, simple, and cost-efficient production of metal parts for prototypes, metal tooling, and some functional parts. Just like in the proprietary systems, after the subsequent industry-debinding and sintering, the final 3D printed part that emerges is 316L stainless steel.

Ultrafuse 316L, a metal filament with polymer content, uses the same as standard thermoplastic filament extrusion systems. The 3D printer builds a part layer-by-layer, with the polymer content of the filament acting as a binder. The main polymer content (primary binder) from the green part is removed in a catalytic debinding process. The result of this process is the brown part, which consists of pure metal particles and a residual binder (secondary binder). The subsequent sintering process at temperatures right below the melting temperature of the metal removes the secondary binder from the brown part and causes the metal particles to coalesce. The material reaches its final hardness and strength properties post-sintering.

The metal content in the high 90 percent range and the even distribution of the metal within the binder matrix reduces the risk of defects and increases the success rate. The “immobilization” of metal particles within the binder matrix into a filament dramatically reduces the potential hazards of handling fine metal powders when compared to powder bed processes such as selective laser melting and binder jetting.

Ultrafuse 316L: metal for FFF

The new metal composite filament is highly flexible and strong: Ultrafuse 316L can be used with both Bowden and direct drive extruders and can be guided through complex filament transport systems. “Ultrafuse 316L can, under certain conditions, be processed on any conventional, open-material FFF printer,” explains François Minec, Managing Director, BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “Our goal was to develop a high-quality metal filament that makes the additive manufacturing of metal parts considerably easier, cheaper, faster, and accessible to everyone.”

The new materials will be available via iGo3D, Ultimaker and Matter Hackers. IGo3D will provide full service packages and support users from the first request up to the finalized and sintered part, to implement metal 3D printing as a natural component in the manufacturing process. Ultimaker will add print profiles for Ultrafuse 316L to the Ultimaker Marketplace. MatterHackers, a US 3D printer and filament reseller, will also be adding BASF’s new steel filament to its offer.

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

Recent Posts

BASF acquires French 3D printing service provider Sculpteo

Perhaps some consolidation may finally be taking place in the all-too-fragmented global AM industry as materials giant BASF has acquired…

3 hours ago

Inside Latec, a Chinese DED and PBF metal 3D printer factory startup

Invited by Outpie Partners, a Netherlands-based company that promotes and facilitates business relationships between China and Europe, we recently had…

4 hours ago

3D printed dragon heats up debut of Ajlani Motors’ Drakuma supercar

Ajlani Motors, a new hypercar manufacturer from the UAE founded Bashar Ajlani, launched its first, superhot Drakuma model at the…

1 day ago

Optomec releases pure copper DED additive manufacturing process

US-based DED system pioneer Optomec is introducing a new pure copper DED additive manufacturing process using Optomec’s LENS directed energy…

2 days ago

Roboze adds KetaSpire PEEK from SOLVAY to range of supported materials

Although today there are several extrusion systems supporting high-temperature materials such as PEEK and other PAEK family polymers, Italian company…

2 days ago

AIDRO joins EOS Ecosystem for additive manufacturing as official partner

Shortly after the official announcement about AIDRO entering into a partnership with EOS, to develop AM for petroleum and natural…

2 days ago