Building on the experience in the 3D printing market, DSM now offers an end product as a filament, instead of its typical raw materials in the form of plastic granules. The partnership allows the two companies to leverage their respective strengths – DSM's deep materials technology and application know-how, with Nexeo's extensive global distribution network and strong customer relationships.
The significant growth forecasted in the 3D printing industry coupled with the customer needs for innovation on their current manufacturing processes explain the front step given by the two companies, DSM and Nexeo Solutions, boosting the 3D printer filament market.
The partnership reaffirms the two companies shared commitment to reinforcing an already robust cooperation by expanding their business to the innovative and exciting world of 3D printing. Both companies are convinced that this launch will boost the 3D sector by offering best in class filaments that fill a void in certain demanding markets where some material requirements have been lacking. "The 3D printing sector, and particularly its FDM segment, represents an exciting, high-growth market with huge potential," notes Fredric Petit, Global Business Director at DSM.
Meanwhile, Gianpaolo Armando, VP EMEA at Nexeo, adds: "Our customers will have access to a brand new range of products specifically developed for 3D printing. As a global distributor, Nexeo Solutions achieves an important innovation milestone on our aim to connect customers and suppliers in simple and unimagined ways."
DSM has developed two special filament grades Arnitel ID and Novamid ID that demonstrate unique material performance in relation to the market's current offerings of filaments made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) resins:
- Arnitel ID is a highly flexible thermoplastic copolyester widely used in electronics, sports and other high-end applications. It is a filament with excellent UV and chemical resistance compared to other flexible polymers such thermoplastic urethanes (TPUs), and which reaches elongation at break up to 400%. DSM drew on its extensive knowledge of the wire and cable industry to develop Arnitel ID, which exhibits no buckling and offers a higher print speed than existing thermoplastic elastomers in the market. It also exhibits unparalleled layer-to-layer adhesion when compared with the available ABS, PLA and TPU filaments in the 3D printing market.
- Novamid ID is a premium polyamide originally developed as specialty product line to meet the high-service-level demands of the automotive and electronics industries. Novamid ID is a very ductile and strong polymer that can withstand harsh environments and high temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius. It offers excellent layer-to-layer adhesion, strength and toughness compared to other 3D printing materials. The high crystallinity of the polymer allows for designs with overhangs.