Impossible Objects (Northbrook, Ill., U.S.) made an announcement of partnership with BASF (Wyandotte, Mich., US) on polyamide 6 (PA6) carbon fiber composites for additive manufacturing,
Impossible Objects’ Model One and CBAM-2 printers will support BASF’s Ultrasint PA6 powder, allowing customers to 3D print high-performance carbon fiber/PA6 composite parts for the first time.
The company stated that carbon fiber/PA6 composites will offer better strength and temperature performance at a lower cost than PA12, and they are up to four times stronger than parts made via conventional fused deposition modelling (FDM) and twice as strong as those made via multi jet fusion (MJF) parts.
“Our collaboration with Impossible Objects opens up new possibilities for customers, especially in the automotive and industrial sectors where we’re seeing strong demand for PA6. This partnership is in line with our philosophy of open innovation and support for open platforms. We’re encouraged by how Impossible Objects is using PA6 and are excited to work together to advance the state of additive manufacturing,” says Kara Noack, regional business director for BASF 3D Printing Solutions.
“We’re honored to be collaborating with BASF 3D Printing Solutions to make this economical workhorse polymer, which is used in an enormous number of industrial applications, available to our customers,” says Bob Swartz, founder and chairman of Impossible Objects.
Impossible Objects have added PA6 to its currently supported materials and will be available for shipment in the third quarter of 2019.
Bob Swartz said, “It’s been exciting to see how our customers are putting our approach to work to create high-performance parts for everything from aircraft and cars to lightweight athletic gear.” He further adds, “We’re continuing to bring machines, materials and expertise to the market to transform the entire manufacturing process, from prototyping through to high-volume production.”
Also, Impossible Objects has raised $4.1 million in funding in a round led by returning investor OCA Ventures, increasing the total funding to more than $13 million.
According to Stratview Research, 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) in composites is still at a nascent stage, but the technology possesses huge opportunities in most of the industry verticals including aerospace & defense and automotive. The technology offers several benefits over existing processes, such as lower part cycle time, efficient part manufacturing, ability to create variable geometries, reduction in waste, no need for expensive tools, and compatibility with all possible material combinations.
In its recently launched report, Stratview Research estimates the global 3D-Printed composites market at US$ 187.7 million in 2024, growing at an impressive rate in the coming five years. The analyst from Stratview Research stated, “Such advances and partnerships are of paramount importance since the technology possess immense potential to address the industry need of mass production. The continuous advancements in AM technologies and rising interest of AM companies in composite part manufacturing will take the penetration of AM in the composite part manufacturing market to new heights.”
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Market Estimates: Report on 3D-Printed Composites Market by Stratview Research