BuildTak has established a successful business selling adhesive products for 3D printing, but that may change.
The company’s products have been near universally accepted as a practical solution to the nefarious adhesion problem on filament-extrusion 3D printers. The material extruded very often does not stick to the stock print surface supplied by the manufacturer, resulting in failed prints.
BuildTak’s easy-to-use solution involves a stick-on layer of a material chemically designed to properly adhere to common 3D print materials. In many cases the application of this type of bed adhesion system changes the 3D printer from a rarely-working unit into a near production machine.
From their initial basic products the company has explored new angles on the concept, including marketing different sizes of stick-on sheets, and even a removable spring steel system for even easier use.
They’ve also struck deals with countless 3D printer manufacturers to include their solution directly into the printer as a standard feature. Their brand name is well-regarded and this surely boosts sales for participants.
But what’s next for BuildTak? There are only so many 3D printers requiring adhesion solutions, and BuildTak no doubt wishes to grow their business.
From informal discussions with the company, we’ve learned they intend on launching a series of new products that are entirely unrelated to their previous adhesion systems. Specifically they wish to focus on accessories and tools designed for 3D printing.
This could mean add-ons like lighting systems (to rectify the frequently encountered dark 3D printer build chambers), print removal spatulas (to correct the often dangerously sharp re-purposed spatulas included with most machines) or nozzle cleaning needles (to enable repair of jammed nozzles where the manufacturer hasn’t bothered to include proper tools to do so).
This is a very good idea, as the state of 3D printer accessory tools is inconsistent at best. Any long-time 3D printer operator will tell you they’ve eventually collected a set of tools that “just work” that enable smooth 3D printing operation, maintenance and repair.
But why should operators have to discover these on their own? Why wouldn’t there be a single place where tools could be obtained easily: Tools that are specifically designed for use in 3D printing and not simply re-purposed tools from the local hardware supplier.
I believe this could be a big opportunity for BuildTak. If they can create a suitably useful collection of accessories, I am sure they will have many buyers. They could even leverage their existing partnerships to include a standard tool kit with 3D printers, if manufacturers agree.
The only challenge might be their company’s name: “BuildTak” is a great name for a company supplying adhesion solutions, but might not fit so well for lights or tools.