Essentium announced a comprehensive partnership with 3D-Fuel.
Essentium builds high speed industrial 3D printers for manufacturing, with a strong focus on certified engineering materials. In fact, they often develop custom materials for specific industrial applications.
Materials are very important to Essentium.
Meanwhile, 3D-Fuel is a well-known provider of filament, based in Fargo, ND. 3D-Fuel offers a wide range of filaments in PLA, ABS and PETG in a huge number of colors (32 at present). They also provide some unusual composite filaments, including mixes with glass, hemp and beer.
However, 3D-Fuel’s specialty is PLA mixes, where they have beefed up the material to increase strength and thermal resistance. All of their PLA is sourced from NatureWorks’ Ingeo 4043D PLA resin, which is highly regarded. This resin is made from sustainable source materials, and that’s made it more desirable as companies and individuals seek more sustainable solutions.
The partnership with Essentium is quite interesting, as it seems to be more than just a “we’ll resell your products” arrangement. It appears that 3D-Fuel is relocating their central warehouse to Austin, Texas, which just happens to be the location of Essentium’s HQ.
They will be using Essentium’s ITAR, AS9100D and ISO 9001:2015 certified facilities for their North American clients, including Essentium’s customers. That move enables 3D-Fuel to avoid the trouble of obtaining the certifications on their own, and opens up the possibility of selling their products to organizations requiring said certifications.
3D Fuel said on their website:
“If you’ve visited our site in the last week, you’ll see that our inventory is listed as out of stock. We’re migrating all of our inventory that was in our Fargo warehouse to our Texas warehouse (stay tuned for an exciting announcement with more details later this week) so until that inventory has been fully moved and is in place, it cannot be purchased on our website.
We DO have inventory in our Amazon warehouse so, in the meantime, if you need filament quickly, please place an order there.”
For the Essentium side, it’s also interesting, as it provides a reliable and high quality source of PLA-based materials for their clients. PLA isn’t known as an engineering material, but 3D-Fuel’s unique mixes can cross that barrier, it would appear. For organizations seeking more sustainable materials AND requiring certifications, this could be the only place to go.
But there’s more. Essentium explains:
“In addition to the existing portfolio of filament lines and extensive color options, 3D-Fuel will introduce new products to their portfolio, enabled by Essentium’s expertise in fiber reinforcement, multi-layer filament extrusion, and other innovative material capabilities. Plans include developing a new spool design to enhance compatibility with various 3D printing systems, improve shipping efficiency, and reduce plastic waste. The products resulting from this collaboration will be branded as ‘3D-Fuel powered by Essentium’”
This is a very strong move by both companies, which will benefit greatly from this arrangement. It’s also a unique approach to material partnership that I haven’t seen from other 3D printer manufacturers that seem satisfied with reselling arrangements. Perhaps we will see more deals of this type in coming months.