Royal DSM has announced that it will be taking over portions of the 3D printing portfolio of Swiss chemical giant Clariant, representing a somewhat dramatic shift in the additive manufacturing (AM) materials market. Specifically, DSM will now have a larger collection of filament, pellet and powder products for 3D printing.
The 3D printing materials space has become a competitive one since an increasing number of established chemical companies began entering the space. Among them was Clariant, a near $6.5 billion spin-off of Sandoz, once known as the inventors of LSD but which has since become Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In 2017, Clariant launched its 3D printing business and, only three years later, Clariant has determined that AM materials don’t fit within its general strategy, though it will keep a foot in the market with its additives and flame retardants.
The Dutch nutrition, health and materials multinational DSM, meanwhile, has been in the additive materials business for over 25 years and has been rapidly increasing its growth in the space particularly in recent years. Its finance capital arm, DSM Ventures, has poured money into a number of projects, including material startup Adaptive3D, smart inkjet 3D printing company Inkbit, post-processing firm Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Voxel8, a startup dedicated to multimaterial 3D printing. DSM continues to expand its materials horizons, as well, focusing on such pellet-based extrusion and flame retardant filament, among others.
Clariant is handing over several staff members, its background in powder development, a piece of its filament and pellet materials portfolio to DSM. Additionally included is a small production line for manufacturing small batches of materials, as well as some operations dedicated to 3D printing customer relations.
DSM suggests that these acquisitions will not only increase its overall product portfolio, but will allow for more agile production with “faster product tweaks based on application needs” due to both the expertise of the Clariant team that will be joining DSM and a “dedicated, highly flexible and high-speed compounding setup.”
Joris Peels, 3DPrint.com Executive Editor and SmarTech analyst, provided his insight into the news, saying, “[I loved] their rail product; the packaging was awesome, the marketing was really good; it was very slick and well done. It was smart of them to use their compounding and additives expertise to make flame retardant and other highly functional products. If the Clariant team brings its agility and speed, as well as application knowledge, to DSM it should make the [Dutch] giant nimbler.”
In particular, Peels noted how quick the Clariant team was in the market, adding that the acquisition could provide DSM with its mark in 3D printing filaments:
“Relative to other polymer companies the Clariant team really our executed and in a very rapid manner met the market with high quality compounds and filaments for specific applications. Clariants products, filaments, compounds and the selected additives are all very high grade and their products were very application focused and ahead of the curve,” Peels said. “DSM has yet to really make a mark in filaments and the Clariant teams’ agility and market knowledge could give DSM the edge that it seeks on application focused FDM filaments.”
As DSM continues to grow in the additive space, it will be competing against the likes of BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, which is also making serious moves within the space and at a rapid pace. The most notable and recent may be the purchase of 3D printing service bureau Sculpteo, as well as its large investments in Materialise and Essentium. As these transformations continue to occur in materials, we will certainly see the AM industry as a whole change shape in new and unexpected ways.
FDM 3D printing users may be pleased to know that the Ultimaker Marketplace has just made three new Lubrizol materials available. These thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) are meant to offer added versatility for consumers, as well as allow them to take on more challenging projects due to new strength and durability. If you are interested in trying out some new filaments, check out the following:
- ESTANE 3D TPU F94A-055 OR HH PL – an aromatic polycarbonate-based TPU, this durable-grade Lubrizol material offers high heat performance, flexibility, and is suitable for use in the production of prototypes and final parts.
- ESTANE 3DP TPU 98A – a polycaprolactone TPU, this Lubrizol material offers high accuracy in printing, excellent mechanical properties, high clarity, as well as low warpage and shrinkage. This material is meant for more specific applications like orthopedic insoles, but also other general parts too.
- ESTANE 3DP TPU F70D-065 – a polyether TPU, this Lubrizol material offers UV stability, flexibility regarding low temperatures, and high transparency – suitable for applications including parts that may be outdoors such as industrial jigs and fixtures.
These TPUs now being offered through Ultimaker Marketplace are manufactured by Lubrizol, which notably is a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, and entered into a partnership with Ultimaker last year.
Founded in 1928, Lubrizol owns over 100 facilities and employs 8,800 globally. The company is divided into two segments: Lubrizol Additives and Lubrizol Advanced Materials. Claiming that that “half of the vehicles on the planet rely on Lubrizol science,” the Wickliffe, Ohio-headquartered corporation is a market leader in the production of chemicals and other material innovations driving new types of manufacturing such as 3D printing—joining other companies like DuPont and Dow, BASF, Mitsubishi, Covestro (Bayer) and more.
An increasing number of these historic companies, equipped with massive resources for research and development, are involved in partnerships with other manufacturers interested in taking advantage of the clear benefits of additive manufacturing. Joris Peels breaks down the growing list of chemical giants now battling it out in the AM materials space. As more oil and gas corporations expand their petrochemical portfolios, this space will only become more contested.
In partnering with over 80 companies around the world to develop material print profiles, Dutch company Ultimaker has aligned with other partners such as BASF, DSM, Solvay, Clariant, and more—all functioning as part of the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program.
Ultimaker often delivers exciting new products and programs to users, allowing them to look forward to updates and innovations like new management systems and printers, streamlined ecosystems, and an ongoing flow of projects being reported from enthusiasts around the globe—whether they might be engaged in urban farming, manufacturing, or a variety of recycling efforts.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.
[Source / Images: Ultimaker]
My Track Technology (MTT) is an eco-friendly, electric remote-controlled track vehicle built to operate in extreme terrains. Its low center of gravity, resistance to the elements and autonomy make it a crucial new tool for a wide range of civilian and military applications including emergency and disaster rescues and agricultural functions.
Partnered with Shapeways, the makers of MTT were able to use 3D printing to cut substantial time and costs in their production process by rapidly prototyping designs and printing strong, end-use ready parts that can resist the elements.
We interviewed Michael Martel from MTT to find out how MTT has utilized Shapeways’ 3D printing technology to ramp up production with speed and efficiency.
What is your name and your role at My Track Technology?
My name is Michael
Martel and I’m in charge of the MTT product development.
How did My Track Technology start?
10 years ago my
father and I were discussing a product that can enhance human power but as
small as possible to be able to go where a person can walk. The main goal was
to be able to get someone that is injured out of deep forest and at the same
time bring reduced mobility
persons to extreme places.
What kinds of customers can MTT benefit?
Our customers are very broad. First, there is the military for rescue and material carrying. Mining for carrying material underground without any fumes and CO2 that has to be ventilated out of the mine. Wildfire suppression help, carrying water pumps and equipment. Also fat bike trails grooming, for agriculture use on wet fields or carrying a freezer in the field for fruits and vegetable harvesting. Replacing a generator on construction sites with MTT-154 onboard 2000W inverter, and much much more.
How did you find Shapeways?
ago one of my electronic employees bought a cheap FDM printer that he assembled himself. At that time I was very skeptical of 3D printing,
I was thinking it was only for toys and figurines. Nevertheless I let him try
some joystick parts. I was at the time building it with a laser cut aluminum
sheet, bent and welded to make an enclosed case. His part with FDM (PLA) was so successful that we
used it for our vehicle for about a year, very amazing. The problem with this
part was the surface finish, time to print and resistance to wet environments.
I was so impressed by this test that I decided
to learn more on 3D printing methods, suppliers and more. This is when I came
to Shapeways’ website and was very impressed
by the technical information and production
I then decided to
manufacture a couple of parts at Shapeways and I have
never been disappointed since. Shapeways is not the
least expensive but I tested many suppliers over the years and I did a lot of
cold temperature testing. Shapeways always has the strongest and nicer finished parts.
Unless you have $100,000 or more to invest in an SLS or HP printer you will never have the quality, robustness, precision and surface finish of a Shapeways part.
What are the benefits of using Shapeways over an in-office printer?
When buying a printer you have an amazing amount of choice offered to you. The problem is to have a printer for all of the applications. The size of the parts, the surface finish, the resistance and the productivity of this printer are all to be considered. Unless you have $100,000 or more to invest in an SLS or HP printer you will never have the quality, robustness, precision and surface finish of a Shapeways part. Shapeways is a one-stop shop for 3D printing projects. They have multiple machines to accommodate all the requirements of all special projects. So for us Shapeways has been a great partner to reach all of our goals, present and future.
What are the benefits of 3D printing with Shapeways over other manufacturing methods?
Speed, cost and simplicity. When our 3D drawing is finished we don’t have to produce fabrication drawings. We just upload the 3D file on Shapeways’ website. Very simple. We also do not have to build a mold for 1 up to 50 parts. It’s very great cost saving. Later when the design is perfect we can build a mold and be confident that the mold will meet our requirements. We are also not limited to a particular shape with 3D printing, practically every shape is possible. Finally, the precision, repeatability and tolerances are better than most of the others manufacturing methods.
“The precision, repeatability and tolerances [of 3D printing technology] are better than most of the others manufacturing methods
What aspect of My Track Technology production do you use 3D printing and Shapeways for?
We are right now
moving to production and most of the parts that had previously been tested with
3D printing are now thermo or injection molded. 3D printing saves us an amazing amount of money by testing
different designs quickly. When the design is
confirmed the mold can be built with the peace of mind that this part works perfectly well.
The other 10 parts
that are needed for an
MTT-154 2020 will continue to be built with 3D
printing technologies. Up to about 100 MTT-154 units per year it totally makes
sense to print parts in Nylon. We save the initial cost of the mold and we can design parts
that are impossible to manufacture with a traditional mold.
What materials do you use?
Right now we mostly use SLS, with Nylon PA12 (Versatile Plastic), dyed black. We also use rubber like TPU to create custom grommets.
How does working with Shapeways affect the speed of your manufacturing?
In our MTT machine there are about 20 plastic parts. Last year we were in a very big rush to do a test with the US military and we had no time to build 20 molds for every single part. We saved at least 6 months (concept, drawing for molding, mold building and parts production) by 3D printing with Shapeways.
How about any cost savings?
For 20 plastic parts the average cost of a mold is $3500 * 20 = 70,000 USD. This money would have been a very big gamble knowing that we were unsure if these parts would meet the functionality, design and resistance we needed. $70K is a lot of money for a startup. It’s manageable, but $70K without any guarantee that this mold will be useful in the future is unacceptable.
What is the most important aspect of working with Shapeways for you?
First, when we want
a strong part I know that Shapeways will not disappoint us. Also the website is
very easy to use, and I like the freedom to choose the shipping you want
depending on the requirement of a particular project. The quality control is
also excellent because I never return a part. Finally, the service when I need
information is excellent.
Can you share any current or future goals for My Track Technology?
The goal right now
is really to move to production and send machines to the customers that have
reserved these vehicles in the past. The product we sell right now is our
MTT-154 2020, with the possibilities to have only one unit with a trailer/sled
or with the flip of a switch multiple units coupled together for special military and industrial
Finally, we have orders for some small MTT-like robots. The frame will be built entirely in SLS printing at Shapeways very soon.
The next stage in 2021-2022 will be remote control with satellite or 4G and autonomous capabilities.
Efficient Manufacturing with 3D Printing
My Track Technology’s vast range of potential applications will see it become an essential tool for assisting humans in navigating challenging terrains and environments. Using 3D printing has made MTT’s production process much more efficient and affordable and shows how 3D printing can contribute to smarter manufacturing.
The post How My Track Technology Uses 3D Printing for Their Remote All-Terrain Vehicle appeared first on Shapeways Blog.
A building’s facade
is a challenging, multi-functional aspect of the structure that carries a lot
of responsibility and expectations. It acts as a barrier and protects the
inside from the elements, determines how much light enters the space and also
provides the overall aesthetic to the building. Find out how architects are
using 3D printing to streamline architectural design and construction
processes, freeing up more time and costs to continue innovating.
Facade” from ETH Zurich Uses 3D Printing to Produce Complex Geometric Shapes
Deep Facade is a 6×4 meter aluminium structure composed of 26 sections of looping metal cast in a 3D printed open sand mold. It was created by students from the Digital Fabrication course at ETH Zurich in 2018 and evokes the folds of the cerebral cortex. This process makes use of the computational design method called topology optimization, where lightweight material can be used to create highly stable and efficient structures. They used binder jetting technology to fabricate the sand molds which allowed them substantial geometric freedom and sped up the fabrication process due to fast printing time, eliminating patternmaking and reducing material waste. The complexity of the geometric shapes of Deep Facade would not have been possible without the use of digital design and 3D printing. Each mold took under 12 hours to print and once printing began the facade itself was formed in less than half a week. The students’ work on Deep Facade demonstrated that the production of parts with 3D printed sand molds was faster and cheaper than traditional mold making methods, and also showed how efficiently one of a kind complex geometric designs could be produced.
Additive Manufacturing Group’s “Facade 3000” Demonstrates the Potential for
Mass Individualization with 3D Printing
In Lupburg Germany, FIT created a 3D printed aluminium facade for its boarding house made up of panels each with its own complex pattern of cavities to showcase how to use 3D printing in construction to favor economical individualization. The panels each have a unique arrangement of cavity shapes, each created using aluminium inserts in the molds. They were able to produce 20 different panels simultaneously in rotation. This method of producing unique panel pieces demonstrates that 3D printing is a key resource when it comes to the future of cost-effective mass-individualization and customization in construction.
First Building by COOKFOX Architects Finds Higher Productivity and Durability
with 3D Printed Molds
The new building at the site of the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, NY. consists of two interlocking structures with facades of all-white concrete precast from 3D printed molds. The crystalline facades were designed to emulate sugar crystals and are self-shading with each piece shaped according to its solar orientation. The variations in the panels meant that over 100 different molds were needed, and creating each one took between 14-16 hours instead of taking 40-50 hours each if the molds were made traditionally. The efficiency of the molding process freed up substantial time and the 3D printed molds proved to be more durable than traditional wood and fiberglass molds (which can be used up to 10 times), as they were able to be reused 150-200 times.
Square Tower in Seattle by 3Diligent Corp x Walters & Wolf Use 3D Printed
Parts for Better Accuracy and Reliability
In order to create an upward slope from the 4th to the 40th floor in the 59-story Rainier Square Tower in Seattle, Walters & Wolf and digital manufacturing company 3Diligent Corp printed aluminium nodes and wall curtains. 140 3D printed v-shaped nodes and square cut pieces of curtain wall were custom fabricated to geometrically accommodate a different angle for each section of the building. 3Diligent gave Walters & Wolf the option between investment casting and 3d printing and Walters & Wolf decided to use the 3D printed nodes because of their level of precision and structural integrity. Each node was created with varying dimensions up to a cubic foot, another testament to the efficiency and flexibility of 3d printing.
“Fluid Morphology” Project in Munich Make Use of Fast Prototyping to Develop
Functionally Integrated Facades
At the Technical University in Munich, Moritz Mungenast and Studio 3F began a project to create a 3D printed facade envelope that integrates ventilation, insulation and shading to become the new facade of the Deutsches Museum in 2020. The facade design is flowing and translucent, resembling Shapeways’ translucent material Accura 60. Studio 3F built a 1.6×2.8 meter section to test for a year to improve the design before making another polycarbonate prototype. The team was able to print 1:1 scale models and prototypes along the way with ease, meaning they were able to fully comprehend the viability of their design, determine production costs, communicate their ideas to their clients and continue developing what they hope to be a widely used facade technology that combines form and function.
In addition to these innovative projects, more and more architecture firms are utilizing 3D printing to achieve a higher level of freedom in design and as a way of making processes more time and cost efficient. 3D printed molds hold up better than traditional wood casts and have a higher range of possibility when it comes to complex geometric shapes. Because of the range of materials available, 3D printing also assures a level of structural reliability for the printing of end-use parts.
The post 5 Benefits of Using 3D Printing in Facade Architecture and Construction appeared first on Shapeways Blog.