Arkema Group has made an investment in 3D printing technology firm Continuous Composites Inc.
In a news release, officials with Arkema in Colombes, France, said that the firm has invested in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho-based startup to advance the development of 3D composite manufacturing, which they said was "a groundbreaking innovation" for strong, lightweight structures.
They added that Continuous Composites "has reinvented composite manufacturing techniques" with its patented CF3D technology and a complete solution including software, hardware, materials and motion platforms.
Continuous Composites' core technology "is driving a fundamental shift" in composites design and manufacturing using high-performance thermoset resins, they added. Arkema's Sartomer product line, including N3xtDimension, is developing solutions for use with CF3D.
N3xtDimension is part of Arkema's 3D Printing Solutions platform. Arkema had signed a joint development agreement with Continuous Composites in September 2019. That partnership has enabled production of customized and large-scale composite parts with high-performance mechanical properties for applications in aeronautics, automotive, energy and other sectors.
Current development projects include collaborations with Lockheed Martin, Air Force Research Laboratory and Siemens.
"Our team diligently laid the foundation of our business and strategic relationships so when we enter the market, we have all the building blocks in place," Continuous Composites CEO and co-founder Tyler Alvarado said in the release. "Arkema's [joint development agreement] and strategic investment demonstrates our commitment to bringing an exponential growth curve to various industries."
"Our investment is a testament to our belief in the market opportunity of CF3D," Arkema 3D Printing Senior Director Sumeet Jain said. "This collaboration will accelerate the development of innovative materials and disruptive manufacturing technology."
Arkema is a major supplier of acrylic resins, sheet and related products. The firm employs more than 20,000 globally and posted sales of 8.7 billion euros (US$9.7 billion) in 2019.
Earlier this year, Arkema sold its functional polyolefins business to SK Global Chemical of South Korea. That sales included French production sites in Balan, Mont and Carling.