Ultimaker says it has now had more than 80 companies around the world develop material print profiles for its extrusion-based desktop 3D printing systems.
The Dutch vendor launched the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program 12 months ago to drive the printing of ‘the most sophisticated engineering plastics’ on Ultimaker machines. Immediately, Ultimaker made public BASF, DSM, DuPont, Solvay, and Clariant as partners, with the likes of Arkema, Essentium, Jabil, Polymaker joining later on. Earlier this year, CEO Jos Burger noted that the company was in talks with up to 60 companies with a view to joining the Alliance Program, and it would seem at least some of those discussions have materialised.
Through this programme, Ultimaker has wanted to enable its users to produce parts with materials beyond the standard ABS and PLA grades, and give them access to flame retardant nylons, chemical resistance polypropylenes, and filaments reinforced with glass fibres, for example.
“We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of interest in the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program since its launch. In just 12 short months, we’ve worked with many global companies to unlock new applications and have produced some amazing results,” commented Paul Heiden, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Ultimaker. “Professional users can now, for instance, select to print using a filament that is filled with metal to produce the same aesthetic effect as a more expensive metal system. As another outcome of the program, users can now select a material that is electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe, which allows engineers and designers in the electronics industry to fully benefit from desktop 3D printing.”
Users of Ultimaker machines can access these more capable material profiles in the Ultimaker Cloud’s Marketplace, with regular additions being made to the platform by the 80+ companies who make up the Material Alliance Program.