Another 3D print filament provider has linked with a chemical company to develop new materials.
This time it’s 3D4MAKERS, a well-known filament provider based in The Netherlands. 3D4MAKERS has a very good reputation in the industry and currently offers a very wide variety of materials including: PLA, ABS, ASA, PEEK, PETG, PEI, PPSU, PSU and their own Facilan family.
But now they’ve partnered with Perstorp AB, a Swedish chemical company that is definitely not small, having a revenue of around USD$1.5B last year. The company produces a huge range of polymer products including plastics, lubricants, resins, coatings, adhesives and even food products.
The two companies have agreed to form “ElogioAM”, a joint venture that is charged with bringing new products to the 3D printing market.
I’m quite excited for this development, because it means that potentially the entire catalog of thermoplastics in PerstorpAM’s possession could be inspected and transformed for use in 3D printing. They say:
ElogioAM aims to enable true deployment of Additive Manufacturing capability for medical, fashion, orthotics, advanced prototyping, modeling, demanding industry and consumer markets.
Those industries in particular will have needs for materials beyond the basic filaments typically targeted for 3D printing, as their application functions will expose the 3D printed parts to new environments that require different material properties.
This partnership is by no means unique. We’ve previously seen BASF sign deals with multiple 3D printing companies to unleash their similar (and likely larger) portfolio of materials into the world of 3D printing.
But by doing so, they’ve put pressure on other 3D print material providers, and perhaps that might have been one of the reasons 3D4MAKERS decided to pursue this arrangement with PerstorpAM.
And for other 3D print material providers, this is a signal: it’s time to buddy up with a proper chemical company, if you haven’t already done so. The future of 3D print materials is now clearly to be much more advanced than what we’ve seen over the past ten years.
[UPDATE: We’ve learned that in fact this material is actually Polymaker’s product, licensed from that company. It appears we were confused by German RepRap’s press release statement that said the product is “exclusively available” from the company, which would normally be used to denote a unique product. Apologies to all!]