BASF Forward AM and Zortrax Forge a Long-Term 3D Printing Partnership

Zortrax has entered in a long-term partnership with BASF, the largest chemical company in the world, to further expand the range of high-quality materials compatible with its machines.

“We are excited to collaborate with Zortrax as both companies share a common vision for additive manufacturing. Zortrax is well recognized for their FDM 3D printers. It also constantly innovates its photopolymer 3D printer platforms. The newly released Inkspire 2 is an industrial-grade UV LCD 3D printer with a very large build volume and automated systems which many other industrial platforms in this price category do not provide,” says dr Piotr A. Bazuła, Global Key Account and Business Development at BASF.

Zortrax Powerful Trio: Zortrax Inkspire 2, Zortrax Cleaning Station, Zortrax Curing Station and BASF 3D printing resins.

Engineering Photopolymer Resins

BASF Forward AM is a BASF subsidiary unit focused on developing and producing cutting-edge additive manufacturing materials. It is as well one of the largest suppliers of photopolymer resins for the Zortrax Inkspire 2, the latest high-end UV LCD 3D printer from Zortrax. Currently, the Inkspire 2 supports 12 different BASF Ultracur3D resins which have been calibrated and thoroughly tested by both Zortrax and BASF engineers. Double validation process ensures that the parts, 3D printed on the Inkspire 2 and post-processed with Zortrax Cleaning Station and Zortrax Curing Station match or even exceed mechanical and thermal characteristics specified by BASF Forward AM. This has been achieved through close cooperation at a technical level that’d started long before the Inkspire 2 was released.

The picture presents Zortrax CEO, Mariusz Babula (left) and MD BASF Forward AM, Global CEO, CFO BASF, Martin Back (right).

“Zortrax and BASF Forward AM joined forces already in the early stages of the machine development, allowing a well-thought-through validation process and excellent fit of resins to the Inkspire 2 characteristics. The unique composition of the printer’s high intensity UV light engine, easy, automated, and user-friendly Cleaning and Curing Stations are a perfect match with the Ultracur3D® resins, resulting in faster curing and post-processing times.” – Bazuła claims.

The picture shows Zortrax and BASF representatives, with Piotr Bazuła, quoted in the text (in the middle, dressed in a black suit).

The range of Ultracur3D® resins calibrated on the Zortrax Inkspire 2 is set to significantly grow in the future. New materials will be added in each of the three Ultracur3D® lines which are: elastomeric, high rigidity, and tough resins.

Zortrax portfolio offers a range of 12 BASF Forward AM photopolymers for various engineering applications.

“Ultracur3D® from BASF Forward AM is an exceptional range of materials offering broad array of capabilities to engineers worldwide. Each resin in the family is throughly tested to give consistent, quality results each time. BASF Forward AM’s know-how in the field of photopolymers has led to development of materials with properties previously found only in high-performance FDM filaments,” says Artur Chendoszko, Resin Technology Leader at Zortrax.

Innovative FDM Filaments

Besides photopolymer resins, BASF Forward AM has a range of exceptional, high-end FDM filaments which are already available for Zortrax LPD 3D printers. Automotive-grade filaments like BASF Ultrafuse PP GF30 and BASF Ultrafuse PAHT CF15 are already calibrated and available for the Zortrax M300 Dual 3D printer. Moreover, BASF Forward AM and Zortrax engineers are on the verge of bringing the metal 3D printing capability to the Zortrax Endureal, the largest industrial 3D printer in Zortrax range.

The models 3D printed with BASF Ultrafuse PP GF30 on Zortrax M300 Dual: a fan shroud (left), and a custom part for an Olympic biathlon silver medalist made by Athletics3D (right).

“Using BASF Forward AM unique printing and post-production process, we want to expand the Endureal to become a viable alternative to more costly and infinitely more complex SLS metal 3D printing systems. We will disclose further details closer to official release but it is already apparent that working with world-leading partners like BASF Forward AM helps us innovate and expand the capabilities of Zortrax resin and FDM 3D printing systems far beyond what’s been considered possible merely two or three years ago, “ says Michał Siemaszko, Head of Research and Development at Zortrax.