The factory that produces the primary ingredient for the entire global supply of nylon 3D-printing powder is out of commission.
On March 31st, an explosion at a manufacturing plant (Evonik Industries) in Marl, Germany killed two workers and took 130 firefighters ~15 hours to bring under control. The plant was severely damage and will be out of commission for approximately three months. This one plant produces nearly half of the global supply of PA12, the primary ingredient of PA2200, the polyamide (nylon) laser-sintering powder. The Evonik plant had been the single source for all nylon sintering powder production worldwide. This material is known as “White, Strong and Flexible” on Shapeways, and is one of their least expensive and highest selling materials. That could change as a result of this disruption. A leading supplier of sintering powders, ALM has stopped accepting new orders for this material and is suggesting alternatives. ALM has stated that they will be producing only with existing stock until the plant is back in operation. The effects of the disruption are predicted to last six to nine months.