M. Holland Co. (Northbrook, IL), a leading distributor of thermoplastic resins, is continuing its move into the 3D-printing materials market with the signing of a distribution agreement with Innofil3D, part of the BASF 3D Printing Solutions Group. The latest in a series of 3D printing materials distribution partnerships, the agreement will give M. Holland’s industrial manufacturing clients access to the expanding BASF 3D product portfolio.
|Image courtesy BASF SE.|
This is the third such partnership that M. Holland has entered into this year, said the company. It recently signed a distribution agreement with 3DXTECH, which added 24 engineering materials to its portfolio, and in May of this year, Owens Corning named M. Holland Master Distributor of its XSTRAND line of fiberglass-reinforced products. M. Holland is also continuing to invest in new 3D printing capabilities at its R&D center in Easton, PA, as well as its dedicated 3D Printing Lab at the company’s Northbrook headquarters.
Haleyanne Freedman, M. Holland’s global 3D printing and additive manufacturing engineering specialist, told PlasticsToday that it’s not just about printing parts for customers or selling them material, but also taking a consultative role to plastics processors and mold manufacturers who want to get into 3D printing but have little knowledge of the technology.
“Everyone is very interested in 3D printing, and the industry is growing,” Freedman said. “With the expiration of many of the printing patents, it’s the open platform that is attracting people and resulting in greater demand. This is our entry point, and the signing of the agreements was certainly to supply materials, but also to educate our customers on the technology. We work with them to identify best machinery and processes, applications and material requirements. We help clients generate maximum ROI in their additive manufacturing efforts, and our agreement with BASF is a significant boost to these efforts.”
BASF 3D Printing Solutions Sales Manager Roger Sijlbing added, “Our agreement with M. Holland provides us a great opportunity to build on our knowledge of automotive, aerospace and consumer goods 3D-printing solutions in the United States. With our newly expanded 3D-printing application technology center, we hope to provide M. Holland clients with innovative solutions to incorporate 3D-printing practices in new, profitable ways.”
Freedman commented that 3D printing is a “very useful, effective tool that can save costs and labor,” but appropriate information is needed regarding the capabilities of additive manufacturing technology.
“Ninety percent of what we’re doing at [M. Holland's 3D-printing business] is consulting and educating our customers,” said Freedman. “Carrying high-quality materials from companies such as BASF that have good R&D programs helps us provide that information and education. It’s about making sure we properly integrate 3D printing into [our customers’] business models.”