BASF to launch company focused on 3D printing

Two airless tires made from BASF’s thermoplastic polyurethane using 3D printing technologies

BASF—a Germany-based chemical company and the largest chemical producer globally—has announced its plans to launch BASF 3D Printing Solutions, a company focused on 3D printing, on September 1, 2017.

BASF 3D Printing Solutions will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF New Business (BNB) and headquartered at InnovationLab (iL)—an academia and industry research and knowledge transfer platform for electronics—in Heidelberg, Germany. Furthermore, it will take over and expand the Application and Technology Center (ATC) for 3D printing belonging to Deutsche Nanoschicht, a subsidiary of BNB, also in Heidelberg.

The new company will provide solutions for various 3D printing technologies, ranging from the development of new and existing materials—such as thermoplastics, photo curing plastics, composites and metals—to simulation services and consultancy for customer-specific applications. The majority of its customers are expected to be interested in the use of 3D printing for industrial production and typical markets served will include aerospace, automotive and consumer goods.

Volker Hammes, managing director at BASF New Business and future managing director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions, shared the reasons for founding the new company: ‘The field of 3D printing for industrial applications is highly dynamic and still emerging. This means there is a need for agile, startup-like structures with interdisciplinary teams and quick decision-making processes. Combining the customer-focused 3D printing activities in one location at a dedicated business is an important success factor.’

BASF 3D Printing Solutions will initially employ around 30 experts, many of whom already work for BASF in the field of 3D printing. They will work closely with researchers and application engineers from BASF as well as external partners—such as universities and potential customers—to develop solutions that meet a wide range of requirements.