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Düsseldorf, Germany, and Ventura, California , November 11 — Nexa3D, the maker of ultrafast polymer 3D printers, today announced and it inked an exclusive material development agreement with functional polymers leader Henkel. This agreement builds upon the companies’ partnership and deepens their joint commitment to advancing the capabilities of additive manufacturing (AM) for volume production. The two companies plan to develop next-generation functional polymers that leverage their combined technologies specifically targeting volume production opportunities in industrial casting, footwear, medical, and consumer goods industries.
As part of the expanding partnership, Nexa3D and Henkel are developing a new casting material designed for industrial metal castings suitable for applications such as automotive, robotics, heavy machinery, and hydraulics. Manufacturers can use the material to produce complex geometries to reduce weight and consolidate parts, resulting in affordable lightweight parts at high production volumes. The new class of functional material is fully optimized for ultrafast 3D printing workflows. Use of advanced design for additive manufacturing tools will further optimize results possible with the material, enabling reductions in material and energy consumption as well as final part weights and costs.
The combination of Nexa3D’s ultrafast additive production platform and Henkel’s development of a new generation of casting material can digitize the casting workflow of foundries looking to upgrade from traditional wax tooling to additive manufacturing. This development delivers all the benefits of traditional metal AM, at 20X higher productivity using supply chain approved metals without compromising on quality.
Traditional manufacturing methods, such as using wax patterns, commonly require expensive tooling and refrigerated transport to maintain their shape during transport. This new casting material produces thermally stable patterns, eliminating the need for refrigerated containers or bespoke tooling for each design. The parts are also more sustainable, compared to traditional stereolithography processes, because they use fresh resin, rather than resin from a large vat that requires constant energy to maintain.
“We have found that fewer than five percent of the more than 45,000 foundries globally currently use 3D printing, with adoption typically constrained by technology being either too slow or too expensive,” explained Kevin McAlea, COO of Nexa3D. “Compared to traditional stereolithography printers, the combination of this new material and our ultrafast technology offers 20X productivity and produces far more robust parts. Foundries and patternmakers now have access to a complete digital workflow that enables them to speed up production and post-processing to develop patterns faster.
“Our extended partnership with Henkel also allows us to deliver new additive solutions to the market at a time when traditional supply chains are stretched and brittle. We’re not simply suggesting existing materials to customers — we are tailoring the material solution to suit our customers’ applications. For example, we are currently collaborating with Henkel on a new generation of ultrafast functional materials that improve modelling cycle time by orders of magnitude capabilities,” continued McAlea.
“In order to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing, we recognize that materials need to be customized for a given printer platform to meet the specific needs of the end user,” says Simon Mawson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of 3D Printing and Incubator Businesses at Henkel. “By entering into a formal material development agreement with Nexa3D, we can now leverage the power of Albert, our highly agile, proprietary, digital innovation platform, to unlock the full potential of the Loctite photopolymers portfolio and Nexa3D’s ultrafast additive production platform.
“Our partnership with Nexa3D has provided exciting new opportunities to the manufacturing market and has tested our material development capabilities,” added Mawson. “By collaborating with Nexa3D on this exclusive material and to develop custom tailored materials in the future, their customers will gain the benefits of our expert material development skills and Nexa3D’s rapid 3D printing abilities — a combination that is not available anywhere else on the market.”
Nexa3D and Henkel have an established partnership that this year has already resulted in the introduction of a new class of medical device as well as a dedicated center for AM advancement. The 3D printed SKOP telemedicine stethoscope was created using biomimicry design concepts, color-matched materials, and complex geometries only possible via 3D printing. The SKOP arose from a collaboration among Nexa3D’s technology, Henkel’s materials, contract manufacturing from Third, and healthcare company WeMed. Nexa3D and Henkel further launched the NEXTFACTORY in Ventura, California this year as a full-scale AM customer center. The center offers customers access to integrated post-processing technologies, material formulation customization, color matching, and a variety of finishing options.
Following the launch of the new casting material, Henkel and Nexa3D will work toward further targeted formulations. Applications in healthcare, footwear manufacture, and consumer goods, for example, offer ample opportunity for next-generation functional materials and ultrafast 3D printing production capabilities.
Nexa3D is continuously developing ultrafast 3D printing methods and materials with its joint developments and partnerships. To learn more about how you can access this powerful collaboration for your additive production project visit nexa3d.com To learn more, check out this media kit.
Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations, and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2019, Henkel reported sales of more than 20 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of more than 3.2 billion euros. Henkel employs more than 52,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by a strong company culture, a common purpose to create sustainable value and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit www.henkel.com.
Nexa3D is passionate about digitizing supply chain sustainably. The company makes ultrafast polymer 3D printers, that deliver 20X productivity advantage, affordable for professionals and businesses of all sizes. The company partners with world-class material suppliers to unlock the full potential of additively manufactured polymers for volume production. The company makes automated software tools that optimize the entire production cycle using process interplay algorithms that ensure part performance and production consistency, while reducing waste, energy, and carbon footprints. For more information, please visit www.nexa3d.com.
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
+49 211 797 – 8594
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Ecosystems
+44 (0) 1785 225416