The new range includes Polyamide 6 (PA6), Polypropylene and Thermo Plastic Polyurethane (TPU) materials and were developed in BASF research and development facilities in Germany and France. They have been made available through both Sculpteo and the Forward AM brand.
Each of the material families have been made available to help facilitate the series production of 3D printed parts in the transportation spaces. Within the PA 6 family, users can take advantage of rigid, high-temperature and flame-retardant properties to additively manufacture under-the-hood parts, ventilation grids, headlight housings and brackets, while the strong and flexible TPU materials can be harnessed for components like intake pipes, dashboard elements and customised cockpits. The Polypropylene material is a lower cost option and can be used for connection parts. Sculpteo is also now using BASF’s Ultrafuse 316L metal filament on BigRep machines.
In the Sculpteo and Forward AM relationship, Sculpteo is a vehicle for market relevance, while Forward AM is then responsible for ‘the objective of enabling a massive industrial commercialisation’ with products that appear to be in-demand. Through its 3D printing services, Sculpteo has access to an array of industries in which new 3D printing materials will be tested on the market, before BASF can then offer the materials to industrial players with their own additive manufacturing equipment and, they hope, at larger volumes.
“By working with Sculpteo, Forward AM has an agile, market-oriented partner which allows the company to quickly validate materials and rapidly deploy them among its industrial clients integrating 3D printing,” commented Dr. Dietmar Bender, Managing Director of Forward AM.
Sculpteo CEO Clément Moreau added: “We are happy to provide our clients with an extended portfolio of materials. These technological materials give industries the freedom of envisioning and developing devices which will revolutionise mobility at a much higher pace.”
In addition to rolling out the new materials, Sculpteo is also expanding its floor space and machine capacity in France. The company has doubled its floor space from 800m2 to 1,600m2 and is in the process of installing €2 million-worth of 3D printing equipment from the United States, Germany, France and China. Sculpteo was bought out by BASF last November, with Moreau telling TCT earlier this summer how the service provider was excited to benefit from the material supplier’s industrial knowledge and chemical expertise having previously relied on venture capital investment and failing in its own material development endeavours.