Exclusive with Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing, Royal DSM


Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, recently announced the company is forming an integrated business called DSM Additive Manufacturing. The new business structure will realign the company’s additive manufacturing activities beyond its Somos® business in stereolithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) resins, offering Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and years of experience in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Multi Jet Fusion, Ink Jet and Binder Jet processes.

We caught up with Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing, to learn more about this exciting development in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.


AMazing®: Hugo, thank you for your participation. The realignment of Royal DSM’s additive manufacturing activities is exciting news. Is the recent realignment in response to a particular shift in industry?

Hugo da Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing (Photo courtesy of Royal DSM)

Hugo da Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing (Photo courtesy of Royal DSM)

Hugo da Silva: Following recent periods of consolidation and hype, additive manufacturing (AM) is quickly evolving from a prototyping technology on the fringes of manufacturing into a mainstreamed discipline, offering tangible value and economically viable benefits to large industrial companies and eventually through to end-users.

Mass customization and small volume production have become a reality. And as the AM sector begins to evolve and scale to reflect new, disruptive business models and shifting customer behaviors, so will we.

AMazing®: What services will DSM Additive Manufacturing offer end users to drive down costs, achieve customer outcomes (safety, reliability and operational productivity) and reduce risks?

Hugo da Silva: Having partnerships and collaboration as part of the ethos of the new organization, allows us to surround our customers with an open and flexible infrastructure. Providing the right material and the right platform for specific customer applications, the plan is to match materials development to printing platforms and applications, this way customers can use the full potential of AM at the right cost.

AMazing®: How can close collaboration with end users accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing and perhaps, spur innovation?

Hugo da Silva: End users know exactly what their needs are, how design can influence their products, how cost of ownership should be calculated in their specific application. DSM as a large material science company has deep knowledge in applications, material specification, process technologies and certification, and has been active in 3d printing for more than 30 years. The combined knowledge from end users and DSM can really speed up development, and with the move from prototype to real manufacturing all this becomes very important for end users to accelerate adoption of AM. So, it’s logical that all large material companies are moving quickly into this market. However, partnerships are key to combine process, software, materials, and design, so all the great benefits of AM can be used in large scale by end users at an affordable cost.

AMazing®:  What market segments do you believe have the most potential for AM adoption and use?

Hugo da Silva: Initially, DSM will focus on four market segments – healthcare, transportation, apparel, and tools and electronics. All these sectors are at the forefront of manufacturing and have strong commitments to AM. They are also where traditionally DSM has a deep application understanding and materials knowledge. Our aim is to help customers find exactly the right materials and production systems for their applications.

AMazing®: How important will it be for end users to have a broad portfolio of AM materials, particularly as innovation in design and process technologies evolve?

Hugo da Silva:  The world of manufacturing is very diverse, with thousands of different materials in traditional technologies. AM is still in its infancy and has far fewer options. There is a clear need for a catchup in materials development and broad portfolio as this will enable more applications to benefit from AM. However, with the evolution in design, mass customization and digital revolution, not only the need for more materials as such become  more important, but  also the need for smarter materials.

AMazing®: Do you foresee any material innovations or emerging technologies in additive manufacturing on the horizon?

Hugo da Silva: In the short-term our efforts will include halogen-free, flame-retardant polyamide 66; the creation of materials specifically for electrical and electronics applications such as control gear, casings, appliance connectors, and automobile electronic control unit (ECU) boxes.

We are also planning a further roll-out of Somos® Taurus – the latest addition to our family of high-impact SLA materials that provide good finish, easy cleaning, superior strength and durability, and heat tolerance up to 90 °C. Furthermore, we intend to develop materials in alignment with the UL Blue Card, which is the AM equivalent of the Yellow Card program for plastics processed by traditional technologies. The UL Blue Card helps to ensure that the AM component or end-product manufacturer is using a tested and certified material, as well as being monitored at regular intervals by an independent test laboratory.

We are also planning to translate our engineer plastics portfolio into AM portfolio in the near future using FFF, SLS, MJF, Ink Jet and Binder Jet as platforms, while exploring the boundaries of SLA and DLP. We have several materials in the pipeline, the coming two years will be extremely busy in product introduction. Our goal is to enable more customers to enjoy the benefits of AM, and to enable AM to assess more applications.

This concludes our interview. Hugo, thank you very much. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn about DSM Additive Manufacturing and ongoing commitment to providing the industry’s broadest solutions portfolios.


About Hugo da Silva
Hugo Da Silva is Vice President of DSM’s Additive Manufacturing Business. An innovation leader in additive manufacturing, Hugo has been active in this industry for more than 5 years. Hugo joined DSM – the Life Science and Materials Science Company  in 2017

Before joining DSM, Hugo held positions of Global Industry Director – 3D Printing & Lighting and Innovation Business leader 3D Printing at Dow Corning. Before that, he built broad business and marketing experience at Dow Corning, Philips and Toshiba. Over the course of his 20-year career, he contributed in a number of roles, including sales, product development, project management, business leader, marketing and innovation, supporting new technologies from early stage to mass adoption.

Hugo earned two degrees from Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo, Brazil: a bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering, and a MBA in Marketing. He also completed financial business training from FGV in Brazil.

About DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™
Royal DSM
is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in life sciences and materials sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 25,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.


Source: Royal DSM/AMazing

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