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Sculpteo and BASF target automotive market with new 3D printing materials

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Sculpteo and BASF have just announced three new high-performance 3D printing materials dedicated to transport and new mobility. This series of polymer materials was developed by BASF Forward AM in two R and D centres in Germany and France, in partnership with Sculpteo. They each offer “properties that meet the constraints of mobility manufacturers, rigid and withstanding high temperatures, flexible or even inexpensive, allowing the production of large parts,” says a press release.

Three large families of new materials are thus unveiled: the Polyamide 6, which supports high temperatures and allows to manufacture parts under the hood, fans, ventilation grilles or even the fastening supports; TPU (for “Polyurethane Plastic Thermo”), flexible and durable for the manufacture of pipes, handles or dashboard elements; and polypropylene, which is inexpensive, used for tanks or connections between different elements.

These new materials are immediately integrated into basF Forward AM’s catalogue of 3D printing materials. “With Sculpteo, Forward AM has an agile partner, in direct contact with the market and can quickly validate materials to offer them more quickly to its industrial customers integrating 3D printing,” said Dietmar Bender, MANAGING director of BASF Forward AM, as quoted in the press release.

“These technological materials give industries the freedom to consider and develop devices that will revolutionize mobility at a much higher rate,” says Clément Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Sculpteo.

Sculpteo doubles its production capacity
In addition to these new materials, Sculpteo already offers 3D-printed metal parts with “Ultrafuse 316L” as well as the printing of large parts with “BASF Ultrafuse” on BigRep machines, capable of printing parts up to 1m x 1 m.

Sculpteo, acquired in 2019 by BASF, allows its customers to order 3D printing via an online platform. The French start-up recently doubled its production capacity at its 3D printing plant from 800 to 1,600 square metres. Now, 50 employees manage its fleet. Sculpteo, which shows a sharp acceleration in orders since June 1st, has invested two million euros in the acquisition of new 3D printing machines in laser sintering, from the United States, Germany, France and China.

HP also recently announced the integration of polypropylene into its material portfolio. This new high-reusability HP 3D polypropylene (PP), developed by BASF, strengthens parts production in the automotive, consumer, industrial and medical sectors. Among the strengths mentioned by the group, this material guarantees good chemical resistance and compatibility with a “mainstream” PP injection material and also has a “considerable environmental and economic advantage” according to Nicolas Aubert, head of hp France’s 3D printing division.

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