DSM has announced a collaboration with Nedcam, a producer of moulds, models and prototypes based on digital 2D and 3D designs, to improve access to scalable Fused Granulate Fabrication (FGF) 3D printing and explore new applications in tooling, large-size and circular end-use parts.
Following the recent addition of a CEAD AM Flexbot robotic 3D printer to its site in Heerenveen, Nedcam will offer FGF, which uses granular plastics that are melted and deposited via a nozzle, using DSM optimised pellet materials for commercial large-format 3D printing production services.
“At DSM we believe that FGF is a critical technology to address the need for manufacturing structural and large-size components using highly filled polymers at competitive production lead times,” said Pieter Leen, Application Development Specialist Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “Nedcam provides an important link between product development and market demand and their printing activities will help accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing.”
There’s also an added sustainability benefit to the co-operation as the pair aim to drive manufacturing into more sustainable and circular processes. Nedcam currently produces plugs and moulds from various materials, including glass fibre reinforced composites and steel, often for single or limited use, resulting in tons of waste every year, while FGF production provides a more sustainable alternative by using recyclable materials.
“We absolutely want to reduce the waste in our production process and go circular,” said Erwin van Maaren, Co-founder and Commercial Director at Nedcam. “By combining DSM’s 3D printing and thermoplastics expertise with our production knowledge and production facilities, we want take the necessary steps toward a sustainable and fully circular model production process.”
The two companies are also said to be working on developing and testing new materials, processes and applications for large-size 3D printing, thought to be particularly beneficial to markets such as marine, renewable energy, construction and infrastructure. The two are currently collaborating with Royal HaskoningDHV for slicing of structural elements.