Ludwigshafen, Germany — BASF SE has bolstered its 3D printing ambitions with the purchase of two European materials suppliers for the technology.
The Ludwigshafen-based company, through its subsidiary BASF New Business GmbH (BNB), has taken over the German company Advanc3D Materials GmbH and French firm Setup Performance.
Based in Hamburg, Advanc3D Materials offers tailor-made plastic powders and formulations for selective laser sintering (SLS) together with process and application expertise.
Setup Performance, which is based in Lyon, France, has been described by BASF as Advanc3D Materials' “most important partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials.”
In SLS technology, a laser draws the shape of an object in a powder, such as nylon. The material hit by the laser melts and the required 3D object is produced, layer by layer.
BNB will integrate both companies into its subsidiary BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, which was set up September 2017 as part of the group strategy to increase its presence in 3D printing technology.
BASF 3D Printing Solutions acquired Dutch filament producer Innofil3D BV last year in order to strengthen its position in the plastic filament market 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 [nylon 11, nylon 12] and polypropylene,” said Dietmar Bender, vice president manufacturing & technology at BNB.
According to Bender, the expertise, infrastructure and advanced materials gained through the acquisition will serve customers, particularly in the automotive and consumer goods industries.
“This acquisition is a further step toward our objective to become a leading supplier of powder-based materials and formulations for industrial 3D printing,” Bender added.
BASF has been aggressively expanding its additive manufacturing business, which has included the establishment of a dedicated 3D printing solutions unit in Heidelberg, Germany.
In April, the company announced that it was building up a global distribution network for plastic filaments in cooperation with Texas-based Essentium Materials.