With the rise of 3D printing in the construction, furniture and automotive industries, Henkel is one of the companies in the adhesives space acting as an enabler for the new technology by developing adhesives, sealants and coatings that will work with 3D printed components.
Among its achievements is the provision of hot melt adhesives for the façade of the “Europe Building” in Amsterdam. The company is one of the partners of the Dutch design and architecture start-up DUS Architects. In close collaboration with Henkel, and additional partners, DUS initiated the internationally well-known project of the canal house in Amsterdam in 2014. With the help of a giant 3D printer (with an installation space of 2 x 2 x 3.5 meters) a house facade including the interior walls made up of 42 components is to be printed and constructed by 2017.
Furniture makers are also turning to 3D printing. They have made chairs, stools and lamp shades using this technique with hot melt adhesives helping make this possible. UV curing adhesives from Henkel are already being used in 3D printed parts for the automotive industry. These parts are prototypes that are 3D printed for testing, and adhesives are speeding up the assembly process allowing engineers to get results quickly and refine their designs. If and when 3D printing is used for large-scale production of auto parts, adhesives will play an even more important role, and the company says it is preparing for this eventuality.