BASF, LSS and Farsoon develop solutions for 3D-parts printed by selective laser sintering

The three companies are cooperating to develop integral solutions for materials, printers, technology and service for 3D printing that can be tailored to meet individual customer needs.

The production of individually shaped plastic parts by additive manufacturing using a 3D printing method is gaining increasing prominence in industry. Laser sintering is one method used in the field of additive manufacturing. Following a three-dimensional blueprint, a laser draws the shape of an object in a powder, e.g. polyamide. The material powder hit by the laser beam melts and forms the desired 3D object layer by layer.

Many complex plastic parts are to date produced by an injection molding process. However, 3D techniques offer decisive advantages: they generate lower costs in small series production and are more time-efficient because no casting mold is needed. Consequently, parts manufacturers are able to address customer wishes much faster and more individually.

The materials currently offered on the market do not, however, satisfy the high requirements for industrial applications for functional components as regards stability in long-term use or mechanical and chemical stress. This applies especially for shape and weight optimized components in the aeronautical, automotive and consumers goods sectors.

“We offer an open platform where customers are free to use materials of any manufacturer,” explains Guido Elbrecht, Managing Director at LSS. “Furthermore our collaboration with BASF and Farsoon is open for potential customers to jointly develop solutions for functional applications where materials, equipment and processing are aligned.” LSS supports its customers with consulting, engineering and services for additive manufacturing solutions. With its expertise LSS ensures the successful implementation and production of customer applications using BASF’s new PA6 materials on Farsoon’s 3D printers.

In this cooperation, BASF has developed a polyamide-6 powder for laser sintering processes which can be jointly adapted with partners and customers for specific applications. Objects made of this innovative material are distinguished by higher strength and heat stability than objects made of the previously used polyamide-12. “We want to offer our customers materials more suitable for series production, for example of functional components. This is achieved by their processing properties and in combination with the machine of Farsoon,” explains Dr. Dirk Simon, Business Director Innovation Business Unit 3D-Printing. “Our material is also distinguished by good recyclability.”

“Farsoon has worked closely with BASF and LSS to develop a system that can offer new process and material solutions to the customer,” states Dr. Xu Xiaoshu, Chairman of Farsoon. “Our experience in developing laser sintering systems as well as material processing combined with BASF’s experience in material development has allowed for the creation of a highly robust machine suitable for a wide range of applications and materials.”Read more