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Materialise expands metal 3D printing with Metal Competence Center in Germany

Metal Competence Center unites metal AM software development, manufacturing and sustainability research

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Materialise opened a new 3,500 square meter Metal Competence Center for 3D printing in Bremen, Germany. The AM service provider’s focus on metal 3D printing has expanded in recent years due to increasing demand for the technology as companies recognize the potential of metal 3D printing for serial production. And as companies reassess their global supply chain strategy in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, this demand has further accelerated due to 3D printing’s ability to add resiliency, flexibility, and reliability.

The company invested approximately €7.5 million to construct the new facility, which has a capacity for over 120 employees and more than 30 industrial metal 3D printers. Materialise previously operated two facilities focused on metal 3D printing in Bremen, including software development and distribution center and an industrial manufacturing center. The Metal Competence Center unites and expands Materialise’s metal 3D printing sites in Bremen under one roof, supporting integrated production and development.

Materialise expands with new Metal Competence Center

The Metal Competence Center will enable increased collaboration between software development and manufacturing teams to better serve industrial customers around the world. On the one hand, the company can leverage its practical manufacturing experience to enhance its software development, and on the other hand, apply its expertise in 3D printing software to develop high-quality, cost-effective manufacturing solutions for metal 3D printing.

In line with Materialise’s corporate goals, the company’s work at the new facility will also focus on research to create more sustainable metal 3D printing solutions.

“Metal 3D printing has established itself as a powerful manufacturing solution, empowering people through local, decentralized production and providing a more sustainable way to manufacture products when compared to conventional manufacturing technologies. But as an industry we need to step up our efforts to make the 3D printing process itself more sustainable,” said Jurgen Laudus, vice president of Materialise Manufacturing. “Our work in Bremen will explore opportunities to optimize printing processes, improve energy efficiency and more consistently recover and reuse metal powder to create more sustainable technologies.”

An opening ceremony for the Metal Competence Center is scheduled for September 2021.

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