Industrial 3D Printing for High-Performance Parts

One of the most exciting aspects of exploring our platform at Shapeways is learning more about how users on all levels are innovating today, and how you might be able to expand your own concepts and designs further through 3D printing. There are a variety of different, affordable services and products offered; however, one of the most important facets that must always be considered — from Shapeways to the entire 3D printing space worldwide — is materials . You can modify printers and write new software all day long, but without a good selection of feedstocks to choose from, quality results are nearly impossible.

BASF (known as a worldwide leader in development and production of chemicals) began partnering with Shapeways this year in providing new materials through their BASF 3D Printing Solutions subsidiary. Our new Powered by Shapeways platform enables users to choose from BASF’s Forward AM materials, expanding accessibility and options for high-performance parts.

The new material portfolio includes ­­­­­Ultrasint TPU01, Ultrasint PP, Ultracur3D RG 35, and HP High Reusability PP.

Ultrasint TPU01

Ultrasint industrial grade powders are meant for 3D printing complex geometries that are accurate, strong, and durable. This thermoplastic polyurethane material is suitable for 3D printing functional end-use components, and is recommended if you require excellence in quality and flexibility for parts, along with the following features:

High level of detail
Good surface quality
Recyclability (Ultrasint TPU01 offers up to 80% reusability ratio)
Airtight parts (down to 1mm wall thickness)
UV resistance
Hydrolysis resistance

Approved for contact with skin, TPU01 is popular in automotive applications due to the open lattice structure encouraging both heating and cooling for interior parts like headrests or seats. Materials can be customized for individuals, and especially in areas typically experiencing heavier loads. Many of the best advantages of 3D printing technology can be used with TPU01 in particular, to include exponentially less time spent in development, production, and assembly time — along with elimination of tooling requirements and cost. Texture can be customized in terms of hardness/softness, and a variety of accompanying finishing options are offered too.

Another unique
benefit of TPU01 is that it can be used to 3D print protective gear for
the automotive industry; for instance, a protective glove was created for
workers at Jaguar Land Rover, offering support to prevent injuries due to
repetitive tasks. This type of gear is strong, yet lightweight and can be
completely customized for the wearer, including special modifications for the
job requirements of the individual. Again, this design is possible due to the
flexible lattice structure of the material. While it is...