Paris — Arkema SA has led the second round of fundraising by U.S. elastomers additive manufacturing startup Adaptive3D, which aims to bring its materials technology to commercialization.
Based in Plano, Texas, Adaptive3D specializes in high performance photopolymer resins for the manufacture of flexible parts and lattice structures. The company supplies a range of materials that match the properties of elastomers such as silicones, polyurethanes and rubber. It enables additive manufacturing of "tough, strain-tolerant, tear-resistant rubbers," Arkema said in a statement.
The printable photoresins are optimized for "high-throughput manufacturing" of functional parts in a wide range of applications in the consumer goods, health care, industrial, transportation, and oil and gas markets.
According to its website, Adaptive3D's materials are "flexible and tough," offer a strain tolerance range of 150 to 450 percent, have a broad range of durometer (from Shore A 20-90) and enable rapid post-processing.
Arkema expects the investment—the details of which were not disclosed—to complement its expertise in ultraviolet liquid resin material design and advance its strategy to accelerate 3D printing manufacturing technology development.
"Adaptive3D photo-resins, based on Arkema materials and now validated in the market, further our customer-focused mission to reach into new application spaces," said Sumeet Jain, Arkema senior director of 3D printing worldwide. "Adaptive3D delivers compelling materials properties with an ease of printing and post processing—a great step forward for the whole additive manufacturing field."
The two companies already have collaborated in a number of technical and commercial developments, and the investment will aim to expand the partnership in new material development and commercialization.
Arkema said it also will contribute its technologies such as photo initiators and thio-based materials to enhance Adaptive3D product offerings.
"Challenging the aging model of injection-molded rubbers, Adaptive3D is now scaling production and distribution to deliver shelf-stable, print-stable, one-part photoresins that yield superior, manufactured end parts," said Walter Voit, founder and CEO of Adaptive3D.
The company's resins, he said, enable customers to "topologically optimize and micro-architect their polymeric products to provide a sustainable competitive advantage."
Other investors in Adaptive3D include Dutch materials supplier DSM; U.S. specialty chemicals company Chemence; pharmaceutical device supplier West; and coal-to-products specialist Ramaco Carbon.