M. Holland Company Forms Strategic Partnership Through AM Cluster
For nearly three years, M. Holland Company watched closely as the world of 3D printing (3DP) expanded and grew faster than anyone could have imagined. As key industry patents were set to expire, and Open Material Platforms began to emerge, the team began exploring the possibility of entering the market. With over 4,000 polymer customers, many of which were starting to add 3DP to their manufacturing processes, M. Holland recognized the need for diverse and quality materials in the marketplace.
In March 2017, Todd Waddle, Market Manager at M. Holland, learned about the launch of the Northeast Ohio Additive Manufacturing Cluster and attended the very first cluster meeting. There was a roundtable discussion at this meeting about how the 3DP-materials world has been dominated by closed material platforms for many years, limiting the growth of industrial applications for 3D printing. These closed materials systems often come with a price tag of >$100K per machine and high material costs.
This discussion helped Waddle identify M Holland’s strategic entry point into 3D printing: customers needing a materials supplier that could provide high quality, engineering thermoplastics as open source materials.
Through the Cluster, Waddle soon met Jay Yang, a Senior Technology Scout at the Owens Corning R&D Center in Granville, Ohio. Upon meeting, the two organizations formed a partnership. Owens Corning’s European-based innovation group had created a ground-breaking new filament, XSTRAND,™ and was looking for a partner with the expertise and customer base like M. Holland’s to take the product to market.
What is unique about M. Holland is their unbiased, consultative approach to their customers’ needs within 3D printing. There is a lack of education and understanding in 3D printing, especially in Open Source/Open Materials. M. Holland has brought on a 3D printing engineering specialist to assist customers in choosing the correct machinery, format and materials for their application. They also assist with design considerations and provide training to assist in a company’s adoption of 3D printing.
In July of this year, Waddle and M. Holland’s 3D Specialist exhibited at the Advanced Materials for 3D Printing Conference. They had the opportunity to interact with major OEM users of additive manufacturing (AM). Particularly, the keynote presenter, Tim DeRosett, Director of Product Management at Jabil, reaffirmed to the audience that mass adoption of AM for production parts will accelerate due to the emergence of many new open source machines, providing growth opportunities for a broader and a higher quality array of materials from providers like M. Holland.