3D Printing: Arkema partner Continuous Composites opens US facility; Arkema invests in US start-up Adaptive3D

3D Printing: Arkema partner Continuous Composites opens US facility; Arkema invests in US start-up Adaptive3D

Continuous Composites has opened a 7,500 sq-ft facility for R&D, and additive manufacturing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The new building demonstrates its patented Continuous Fiber 3D printing (CF3D) technology at the largest scale to date, increasing its previous build volume by 25 times.

Over the past five years, Continuous Composites has built relationships and partnerships with industry leaders to bring its disruptive CF3D technology to commercialisation. These partners play a key role in unveiling the new demonstration facility and are intricately involved in the technology ecosystem that Continuous Composites is generating.

Materials firm Arkema, through its Sartomer business, a supplier of photocurable resin solutions, is developing a library of N3xtDimension thermosetting resins with Continuous Composites. These resins, part of the 3D printing solutions Arkema platform, are tailored for CF3D’s novel printing technique and customer-specific applications to enable industrial adoption of CF3D technology.

Siemens, a technological pioneer, empowers the CF3D solution with their Sinumerik 840D CNC system and Run MyRobot/Direct Control platform to achieve multi-axis robotic control for automated manufacturing with CF3D.

"As an industry leader in automation, Siemens is excited to be sitting side-by-side with Arkema to support Continuous Composites' development," says Tim Bell, Additive Manufacturing Business Manager, Siemens Industry. "We recognise Continuous Composites has brought together prominent industry players to be successful in commercialising this technology."

“Sartomer is excited to support Continuous Composites with their technology ecosystem and partners as CF3D accelerates towards commercialization with our leading materials sciences,” says Sumeet Jain, Senior Director of 3D Printing Worldwide at Arkema. “We are tailoring advanced liquid resin solutions for CF3D to introduce a variety of high-end applications, and we believe there is a strong market opportunity for this technology and our innovative materials.”

Comau, an industrial automation company, provides Continuous Composites with automated systems in robot kinematics and motion controls, leveraging their six-axis robotic arm for CF3D.

Güdel, a manufacturer of high-precision machine components, partners with Continuous Composites to scale CF3D technology, utilising its TrackMotion Floor 50-ft linear rail.

"These partnerships were mutually selected, us choosing them and them choosing us, knowing that by joining efforts, CF3D technology will rapidly scale to the next phase of its capabilities," states Tyler Alvarado, Continuous Composites CEO. "Our new facility allows us essential access to research and development that is completely in stride with a powerhouse team of strategic partners and customers."

Meanwhile in related news, Arkema has invested in Adaptive3D, an American start-up that develops polymer resins for additive manufacturing. The company says, “This investment complements our expertise in UV liquid resin material design and our commitment to accelerate 3D printing manufacturing technology development.”

Adaptive3D offers solutions enabling soft and elastomer end-products. The start-up sells photopolymer resins to enable additive manufacturing of tough, strain-tolerant, tear-resistant rubbers. Adaptive3D printable photo-resins are optimised for manufacturing of functional complex 3D plastic and rubber parts in a wide range of applications in the consumer goods, healthcare, industrial, transportation and oil and gas markets.

Through its Sartomer’s activity and its N3xtDimension range of advanced UV curable liquid resins, Arkema and Adaptive3D have already succeeded in many technical and commercial developments. With this announcement, the companies aim to partner across the end points of an additive manufacturing ecosystem, from new material development, scaled specialty resin manufacturing, to functional end-use parts, to deliver solutions at scale. Arkema, specialising in many other material technologies like photoinitiators and thio-based materials, can further enhance Adaptive3D product offerings through custom solutions.

With this investment in Adaptive3D, Arkema takes a new milestone that will create exciting opportunities for new applications in footwear, medical, automotive and electronic appliances, among others. With materials developed to best meet market needs, both consumers and producers stand to benefit from the specialty and sustainable high-performance solutions developed by Arkema and Adaptive3D.


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