BASF Forward AM Moves Forward, Acquires Owens Cornings’ XSTRAND Business Line

By on August 10th, 2020 in Corporate, materials

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BASF Forward AM Moves Forward, Acquires Owens Cornings’ XSTRAND Business Line
A part 3D printed in XSTRAND GF30-PA6 [Image: Owens Corning]

Forward AM has acquired Owens Cornings’ XSTRAND business line, expanding its portfolio of advanced 3D printing materials.

Over the last few years, BASF has been straightforward about its ambitions in 3D printing, and they are many. In 2017, the chemical giant began a series of acquisitions that would lead to the development of its new 3D printing-focused subsidiary, initially called BASF 3D Printing Solutions. Following more big steps and big partnerships and investments in additive manufacturing, in November 2019 the business was renamed as Forward AM.

Now, further building out its materials portfolio, Forward AM has acquired the XSTRAND business line from Owens Corning.

Included in the acquisition are three 30% glass fiber-reinforced filaments:

  • XSTRAND GF30-PA6 (glass fiber-reinforced polyamide 6)
  • XSTRAND GF30-PP (glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene)
  • XSTRAND GF30-PC (glass fiber-reinforced polycarbonate)

Forward AM is now taking ownership of the XSTRAND brand and “key IP” — but not any of the Owens Corning team.

When DSM acquired parts of Clariant’s 3D printing materials portfolio earlier this summer, on the other hand, some of the personnel transitioned along with the products.

Owens Corning 3D Printing

Owens Corning did not state the reason for divesting its XSTRAND business line, though Dr. Christopher Skinner, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Composites, Owens Corning, did say:

“BASF’s capability will enable the further acceleration of XSTRAND products and support future growth of the composites industry. Owens Corning will continue its collaboration with BASF as we transition XSTRAND to them.”

Having introduced XSTRAND in September 2017, Owens Corning seemed initially bullish about the line. It was highlighted in that year’s Sustainability Report (pdf), where Skinner — who was then the Director, Front End Innovation, Owens Corning Belgium — said:

“Everybody is talking about 3D, and Owens Corning is doing it. We are optimizing manufacturing processes in big ways.”

The company highlighted both internal usage and a customer case in the report, and it seemed like the material family was taking off. In 2018, Ultimaker added XSTRAND materials to its materials alliance program, offering fine tuning for its professional users. 

Now, that Sustainability Report is the most recent company-wide mention of XSTRAND I could find in a brief search through the Owens Corning website; they have not publicly shared a statement about its divestiture.

Forward AM Acquires XSTRAND

So moving forward: Forward AM continues on its path of acquisitions to build up its positioning, and adds in XSTRAND to its materials portfolio.

“Through the acquisition of the Owens Corning XSTRAND business, we are able to serve our customers with new and innovative filaments for 3D printing,” said François Minec, Managing Director BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “By adding these high-performing materials, Forward AM now offers one of the broadest product ranges in the entire Additive Manufacturing industry, with expert solutions tailored to all industrial customer needs.”

Via Forward AM

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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