Firms jointly develop system solutions for 3D printing

German chemical company BASF, selective laser sintering and melting manufacturer Farsoon Hi-tech, and supplier of support and field service for additive manufacturing (AM) equipment Laser-Sinter-Service (LSS) are cooperating to develop integral solutions for materials, printers, technology and service for 3D printing.

The laser sintering equipment, materials, technology and services has been showcased at the formnext trade fair being held from 17 to 20 November in Frankfurt.

The production of individually shaped plastic parts by additive manufacturing using a 3D printing method is gaining increasing prominence in industry. Laser sintering is a method used in the field of additive manufacturing.

Following a three-dimensional blueprint, a laser draws the shape of an object in a powder, such as polyamide. The material powder hit by the laser beam melts and forms the desired 3D object layer by layer.

Many complex plastic parts are to date produced by an injection moulding process.However, 3D techniques offer decisive advantages: they generate lower costs in small series production and are more time-efficient because no casting mould is needed. Consequently, parts manufacturers are able to address customer wishes much faster and more individually.

The materials currently offered on the market do not, however, satisfy the high requirements for industrial applications for functional components as regards stabilityin long-term use or mechanical and chemical stress. This applies especially for shape and weight optimized components in the aeronautical, automotive and consumers goods sectors.

Meanwhile, BASF has developed a polyamide-6 powder for laser sintering processes with this cooperation and which can be jointly adapted with partners and customers for specific applications. Objects made of this innovative material are distinguished by higher strength and heat stability than objects made of the previously used polyamide-12.


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