September 22, 2015 – Materialise, a provider of additive manufacturing (AM) software and 3D printing services, has announced new metal printing activities in Germany. Starting in late October, this new production line will begin serving industrial customers looking to manufacture parts in titanium, a move that Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen hopes will mark Materialise’s next step in becoming a complete factory for 3D printing.
Over the years, Materialise has built expertise in metal printing, most notably by developing metal AM software and releasing build processors with leading metal OEMs. With regard to hardware, Materialise recently announced the completion of an in-house metal printing project that saw a medical production line being installed at its headquarters. Now, with the technology maturing and the demand for printed metal parts increasing, the company has begun expanding its metal offering on the industrial services side, with the availability of aluminum already being announced earlier this year.
“In terms of commitment to the market, this is an important step”, says Vancraen.” The site in Germany is ideally placed to service our customers from all industries and with this scalable investment, clearly puts metal printing on the agenda as a strategic part of our industrial offering”
The facility will be led by Materialise’s Bremen office, where the company’s know-how in software for metal printing has been centralised since the acquisition of Marcam Engineering in 2011. The metal production will be led by Ingo Uckelmann, who brings with him a solid background in metal printing for dental applications. He joined Materialise in January 2015 to start up the operations.
Materialise will be using TiAl6V4, one of the widest-known alloys, combining excellent mechanical properties with a very low specific weight. The material is corrosion resistant and is used in a variety of demanding engineering environments such as aeronautics. Applications include functional prototypes, solid end-use parts and spare parts.