Ultimaker, a global leader in desktop 3D printing, announced collaborative alliances with global material companies to meet the growing demand for industrial-grade engineering materials compatible with Ultimaker 3D printers. Ultimaker has partnered with DSM, BASF, DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers, Owens Corning, Mitsubishi, Henkel, Kuraray, Solvay and Clariant as part of an alliance program to enable high-level engineering plastics and composites on Ultimaker machines.
Ultimaker will provide software based on extensive research and development, and material knowledge to allow the collaborating companies to generate and maintain material profiles so that customers can reliably use the materials on Ultimaker 3D printers. With the material profiles, users will be able to print automatically, using preconfigured settings available in Ultimaker Cura. The alliances will serve as a strong foundation for future collaborations, opening up doors for more advanced applications based on user demand.
“High quality 3D prints are the result of an optimized alignment of hardware, software and materials. The strategic alliances formed with these global material companies opens up the use of sophisticated engineering plastics on Ultimaker printers, allowing customers to fully embed 3D printing in their existing workflows,” said Jos Burger, CEO of Ultimaker.
According to IDC, the global spending on 3D printing technologies is expected to reach nearly $12 billion in 2018. As 3D printers become more popular in the enterprise, there is increased need for materials that can be used throughout the entire product development cycle. A large car manufacturer might use a specific plastic to create the majority of its parts and find value in 3D printing prototypes in the same material to have a better idea of the end result–or to print an end-use part immediately.
“The performance and reliability of Ultimaker 3D printers was key for us in the development of the XSTRAND composite filament,” said Dr. Chris Skinner, Director of Front End Innovation at Owens Corning. “The reliable platform that the Ultimaker system provides enabled our team to efficiently develop high performance engineered solutions for this growing market. We use these systems day in and day out to enable both our and our customers’ innovation.”
Julien Guillen, Leader Additive Manufacturing at Decathlon’s Add Lab : “We want to make sport accessible to the many by delivering quality, technical products for the best price. The larger build volume of the Ultimaker S5 now enables us to 3D print prototypes for even more product types such as footwear and helmets and many others. Due to the open filament system we can print these objects with the materials we prefer – we can test, fail, and improve. We can change the way we prototype, the way we create. This allows us to speed up innovation and evaluate new concepts in an earlier stage, which reduces time and costs. The Ultimaker S5, combined with Ultimaker Cura software, seamlessly fits in our development chain and the improved usability gives the Decathlon Add Lab’s team the power to deliver the right products for our users, at the right time.”