miniFactory and Kimya: a partnership to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing in industry

In 2018, KIMYA signed a partnership agreement with the Finnish manufacturer miniFactory, a specialist in the development of high-temperature machines for industry. Numerous Kimya filaments have subsequently been tested and approved on the miniFactory Ultra printer, enabling users to maximize the benefits of additive manufacturing.

A partnership to remove the obstacles to additive manufacturing

There are two types of 3D printer on the market, namely ‘open’ and ‘closed’ systems. The latter type are only compatible with materials developed by the particular 3D printer manufacturer, thereby considerably reducing the range of materials available. Open manufacturing platforms, on the other hand, are more flexible due to the much wider range of material options. This applies to the miniFactory Ultra 3D printers. For the Finnish company, it was of critical importance to join forces with a materials producer in order to unlock the potential of additive manufacturing.

At the time, high-temperature additive manufacturing was uncommon and relatively new. The operators in this niche sector were therefore very easy to identify. Without hesitation, miniFactory contacted Kimya due to its ability to offer bespoke filaments to manufacturers. Olli Pihlajamäki, COO of the Finnish company, explains further:

“KIMYA shares our vision of high-temperature 3D printing: we are striving to serve industrial production of finished parts by offering a comprehensive solution. This can only be done by creating strong links with operators in the additive manufacturing ecosystem. Our partnership with KIMYA is fundamental as it enables us to offer genuine added value to the end user.”

Personnel of miniFactory and Kimya test and approve Kimya materials on the Ultra machine

Materials tested on miniFactory machines

Currently, 5 filaments have been tested and approved on the miniFactory Ultra: the Kimya PEI-1010, le Kimya PEI-9085, le Kimya PPSU-S, Kimya PEKK-A and the Kimya PC-S. The Kimya Factory is equipped with 3 machines for testing while miniFactory runs its own tests in Finland. This process culminates in maximum material performance and in the definition of optimum printing profiles. The user is therefore able to design a part with excellent mechanical properties and of optimum quality – all at high speed. There is no need for multiple iterations as the profiles have already been defined and approved by the producer of the material and the printer manufacturer.

Olli Pihlajamäki continues: “There are numerous 3D printers on the market which may appear very similar, at least superficially. But they all have their particular properties and it is important to understand that a given printing profile is not always suitable for all machines. This step of approving the material on the printer is fundamental as it enables the material’s potential to be maximized. KIMYA develops new materials every year which we want to offer our customers as soon as possible. Our partnership gives us this possibility..” 

La KKimya Factory is equipped with miniFactory Ultra 3D printers

Pierre-Antoine Pluvinage, KIMYA Business Director, adds: “Most manufacturers use additive manufacturing to improve productivity. They require a rapid and easily deployable process. By working hand-in-hand with a high temperature machine manufacturer, we are able to satisfy their demands. We are creating value with miniFactory: it knows that it can use our materials on the Ultra machines and that it will obtain high-quality parts.”

This partnership is just out of the starting blocks and there are numerous further developments down the track. It represents a long-term collaboration and will undoubtedly remove barriers holding back the additive manufacturing market. Our personnel work with KIMYA materials on a day-to-day basis in order to offer the best possible properties to industrial producers of finished parts.