Clariant Steps Back, DSM Steps Up For 3D Printing Materials

By on June 24th, 2020 in Corporate

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A functional part 3D printed with Clariant material released at Formnext 2019 [Image: Clariant]

Large chemical companies’ participation in the 3D printing materials space is shaking up a little with a portfolio shift.

Clariant, which has been signalling an increasing interest in 3D printing punctuated by the December 2017 launch of a 3D Printing business segment, is giving over “certain parts” of its portfolio to DSM.

Clariant 3D Printing

Like many other major chemical companies, Clariant has been increasing its interest — and investment — in 3D printing over the last few years.

The peak of this was the establishment of its dedicated business segment, through which announcements have continued over the last few years. These have included becoming part of Smart International’s Materials Partnership Program to broaden the availability of engineering materials to the users of their Kodak Portrait 3D printer early this year, as well as joining Ultimaker’s materials partner network and introducing new materials targeted at end-use functional parts production at Formnext 2019.

Clariant has continued to offer interesting engineering-grade 3D printing materials, including flame-retardant and other advanced chemistries. 

“At Clariant we have all the capabilities to produce high-grade ready-to-print 3D printer filaments. We are experienced in delivering specialized and tailored solutions to customers via our Plastics & Coatings businesses. The existing Clariant production infrastructure provides the 3D Printing business with a global footprint to offer desired 3D printer filaments across the world,” said Richard Haldimann, then-Head of New Business Development of Clariant in the December 2017 announcement of Clariant 3D Printing.

DSM Takes On Parts Of Clariant’s 3D Printing Business Portfolio

Today, though, we’re seeing things move in a different direction for this business portfolio — and that direction is DSM.

Clariant is stepping back from its involvement in this area of business. Haldimann, now the Head of Sustainability Transformation at Clariant, says today:

“After thorough strategic review, Clariant concluded that its 3D printing materials business was no longer aligned with its strategic focus.”

That doesn’t mean that Clariant is 100% stepping away from 3D printing, as he continues:

“While we will continue to serve the 3D printing market with our high quality additives and flame retardants, we are confident that DSM is the ideal new home for parts of Clariant’s tailored 3D printing materials business to continue its successful development. I look forward to seeing them thrive.” 

Clariant’s 3D Printing business page has just been pulled down over the time it took today to write this piece, and is no longer live. Outside of Haldimann’s statement, Clariant has not specified exactly how their additives and flame retardants will be available for the 3D printing market nor how any future 3D printing participation might look.

DSM has been increasing its focus on the 3D printing industry, and it’s nice to see in this announcement that unlike Clariant, this focus still aligns with its strategic focus.

As part of the takeover of parts of this business portfolio, per the announcement DSM will be gaining:

  • Part of the Clariant 3D printing team
  • Selection of the Clariant 3D printing portfolio
  • Pipeline of engineering-grade filament and pellet materials
  • Customer relations
  • Expertise in powder development
  • Small production line for fast ramp-up of small batches

Overall, this is looking like quite a win for DSM, as they gain both product and expertise in one go.

“We are very excited about welcoming the new team members and the expertise they bring to expand our service offering. We share the same focus on customer needs and have complementary expertise and portfolio. Together we can fulfil market needs faster and with a broader materials toolbox, and realize further the potential of additive manufacturing to the manufacturing world,” says Hugo da Silva, Vice President Additive Manufacturing at DSM.


By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.

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