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November 28, 2023
3 Min Read
Image courtesy of Business Wire
At a Glance
- Soft launch begins with filaments from the Xyron modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) resin product line
- Two business initiatives targeted at 3D-printing sector to demonstrate versatility and long-term commitment
- Global additive manufacturing products and services market forecast to grow 18.3%
Asahi Kasei has commenced sales of 3D-printing (3DP) filaments in North America through Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. (APNA). The soft launch will begin with filaments from the Xyron modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) resin product line, then expand to the Thermylene polypropylene (PP) portfolio.
“Asahi Kasei has a proven history of being a resin and compounding technology leader,” stated Todd Glogovsky, APNA president and chief operating officer. “3D printing is a rapidly growing field, and we have the people and skillset to develop, enhance, and exceed the needs of hobbyists and OEMs alike.”
A display of versatility and commitment
APNA plans to advance two business initiatives targeted at the 3DP sector to demonstrate to customers its versatility and long-term commitment. The first goal is to deliver success through filament sales in the North American market and then expand globally. This will be initiated by trialing Xyron mPPE, which features properties such as printability (low warpage and high dimensional stability), heat resistance, electrical insulation, and impact strength. That will be followed by the launch of Thermylene PP filament, which provides high tensile strength, chemical resistance, creep resistance, and elevated temperature performance.
Leveraging CAE services for 3D printing
The second goal is focused on customer support with advanced resources through computer-aided engineering (CAE). “Besides having industry expertise, we plan to provide our partners with design and simulation services through CAE. This will help show our commitment to growth from proof-of-concept to the execution stage,” said Nihir Bhuva, APNA strategic business director.
Asahi Kasei already provides comprehensive support for designing and developing customer products using CAE technical services for engineering plastics products. APNA's well-established CAE services have now been expanded to 3DP to provide additional support for filament products and their usage.
Asahi Kasei Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) invested in Castor Technologies, an Israeli startup specializing in 3DP technologies, to expand CAE offerings in May 2023. Through this investment, Asahi Kasei is developing unique 3D-printing software that allows the organization to tailor its approach to the specific needs of consumers. With Castor, Asahi Kasei is conducting proof-of-concept techniques to expand services, including automation of advanced simulations.
Double-digit growth continues in additive manufacturing
The size of the 3D-printing market in North America is expected to reach a value of $16.6 billion by 2032, according to research outfit Spherical Insights, representing annual growth of 15.7% from the base year of 2022.
Leading market watcher Wohlers Associates, meanwhile, forecasts overall worldwide growth in additive manufacturing (AM) products and services to reach 18.3%, continuing a trend of double-digit AM industry revenue growth in 25 of the past 34 years.
The additive manufacturing sector has grown by double digits in 25 out of the past 34 years. Image courtesy Wohlers Associates.
“The AM industry is continuing to expand into end-use production applications,” said Terry Wohlers, head of advisory services and market intelligence at Wohlers Associates, powered by ASTM International. “This trend will grow as standards are further developed and adopted. AM is delivering larger and more critical parts across multiple industry sectors.”
About the Author(s)
Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.
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