3D printing reseller MatterHackers is greatly expanding its materials reach with several high-profile partnerships.
Newly announced partnerships include major chemicals companies BASF, DuPont, DSM, Dow, and FiberForce, all of which have themselves been signalling their growing interest in 3D printing.
Along with these new partners and a growing focus on engineering-grade 3D printing materials, MatterHackers is also taking on custom Pantone coloring through its work with FiberForce.
BASF, DuPont, DSM, and Dow have themselves become fixtures at recent major 3D printing industry events. Initially appearing alongside their partners, more and more frequently these chemical giants have their own booths; I’m looking forward to conversations with a few of them this week at RAPID + TCT, and would be very surprised at this point to not see all their names on the finalized formnext exhibitors’ list for 2019.
As 3D printing continues to industrialize, the need for industrial materials is rising — and who better to supply these than the companies that have for decades been working with advanced polymer science?
It’s interesting to see MatterHackers come into play with these industrial names, as the company is best known for its work with desktop 3D printers. And indeed, that’s where the focus remains; we just have to remember that desktop 3D printing isn’t what it used to be. It, too, is more powerful, more industrial.
MatterHackers sees the new materials as valuable in its portfolio to meet needs in prototyping, production, and manufacturing workflows across a variety of application areas.
“We are excited to bring more advanced materials partners into the MatterHackers portfolio of engineering plastics. With these new companies as allies in providing advanced materials to the American market, we have a catalog that can supply virtually every need for industrial prototyping and production needs on any level,” said MatterHackers COO Kevin Pope.
The portfolio expansion is impressive, especially with so many new partners announced in one swoop. But that doesn’t mean that’s all; the company catalog will continue to grow, MatterHackers assures us.
Among the advanced materials now offered are, for example:
PPGF (glass fiber polypropylene)
PAHT CF (carbon-fiber nylon)
NylonG (glass fiber nylon)
Looking to its partners for these materials, MatterHackers notes:
“As a world-leader in materials, BASF has utilized years of experience to create filament that meets and exceeds the requirements for several applications within the industrial sectors of the automotive, aerospace, medical, oil and gas, and construction fields. In addition, Dupont, Dow, DSM, and FiberForce round out a catalog of materials that enable any manufacturer looking for quality filament in the Americas to consider MatterHackers a reliable and experienced distributor for advanced, industrial materials.”
One of the especially convenient parts about this partnership is that as a broad reseller, MatterHackers also provides the hardware to go along with these materials, as well as the expertise to ensure that all is in place for customers to execute their plans. It wouldn’t do any good to only supply hobbyist-level 3D printers with advanced materials that just won’t print on a lower-end hot end.
And of course there’s the Pantone color matching system.
Color matters, and Pantone is one of the most trusted names in the color game. For many companies, the perfect color match is critical (think of Coca-Cola red versus any other red, for instance) — and reaching that with new technologies and materials is helping 3D printing gain a foothold in more areas.
MatterHackers has now launched the Pantone Matching System through its partnership with FiberForce. Offering Pantone matches in filament form ensures batch-to-batch and print-to-print consistency.