DSM sharpens focus on additive manufacturing

DSM (Heerlen, Netherlands) has announced that it is aligning all its additive manufacturing (AM) activities within its materials cluster and promoting a partnership approach. This will help customers find exactly the right materials and production systems for their applications, said DSM’s announcement.

Toyota Motorsports' GT86
Toyota Motorsports' GT86 consumer racing series car has end-use printed parts made from Somos.

DSM explained that the new customer-centric organization will build on experience from all of DSM’s existing materials businesses, combining deep market-specific applications expertise in all polymer AM processing technology platforms.

After two decades in the AM arena with its Somos resins for stereolithography (SLA) and digital light processing (DLP), the company is now forming an integrated business—DSM Additive Manufacturing. As a result, DSM also will offer services related to fused filament fabrication (FFF), selective laser sintering (SLS), Multi Jet Fusion, inkjet and binder jet processes.

DSM will initially focus on four market segments: Healthcare, transportation, apparel and tools & electronics.

“Somos has provided us with a deep understanding of key market segments and end-customer needs in the AM space,” said Hugo de Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “We continue to introduce major innovations in SLA and DLP materials, but this is only a part of the total AM picture and we want to cover the entire area.”

Currently, explained de Silva, “there is a lot of excitement around fused filament fabrication and DSM has a growing portfolio of materials for this technology, including Novamid polyamide and Arnitel thermoplastic elastomer. But we intend to go much further, extending our innovation efforts—supported by technology partnerships and industry collaboration—to develop new solutions for SLS, Multi Jet Fusion, inkjet and binder jet. We also want to explore new and emerging technologies in AM as they graduate from research, giving us the industry’s broadest solutions portfolio.”

DSM already has various collaborations throughout the additive manufacturing ecosystem, such as the recent “One DSM” framework technology agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corp. The agreement involves all DSM businesses active in supplying materials and technology to the automotive sector—Somos, engineering plastics and Dyneema ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber.

DSM has also acquired the HP Multi Jet Fusion Materials Development Kit in an effort to jump-start 3D powder development for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology. DSM plans to collaborate with HP in the development of materials and bring innovative solutions to the market, said the company.

DSM will be exhibiting at formnext 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, from Nov. 14 to 17, in hall 3, stand C29.

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