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BASF makes double acquisition in 3D printing

BASF has acquired all the shares of two start-ups focused on 3D printing: Advanc3D Materials GmbH from Hamburg and Setup Performance SAS from Lyon.

Advanc3D Materials offers customised plastic powders and formulations for selective laser sintering (SLS), while Setup Performance is Advanc3D Materials’ most important partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials. BASF will bring both companies into its 3D Printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) subsidiary. It called the acquisitions “an important step forward for BASF in its expansion in the field of 3D printing”.

“Following our acquisition of Innofil3D last year and the consequent strengthening of our market presence in plastic filaments for layer extrusion, we are now expanding our market access in the area of powder bed fusion,” BASF said, adding that the technology on offer from Advanc3D Materials GmbH and Setup Performance complements its existing range and is “perfectly suited” to products such as polyamide 11, polyamide 12 and polypropylene.

In April, B3DPS introduced a new PA6 material for selective laser sintering that it says can easily be processed on most SLS machines commonly used in the market today.

BASF has said the production of individually formed plastic parts through additive layer manufacturing by a 3D printing process is becoming “increasingly important”. The SLS production method uses a three-dimensional structural design and a laser to draw the shape of the object in a powder such as polyamide. The material hit by the laser melts and the required 3D object is produced layer by layer.

Up until now, many complex plastic parts for finished products such as shoes have had to be produced by injection moulding. Advantages that 3D printing presents include the ability to make small series products at lower cost and much faster production because no mould is required, allowing manufacturers to react much faster to customer requests and meet individual customer requirements more easily.

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