Work has begun on Protolabs’ European expansion, which will see a 50% increase to its 3D printing capability thanks to a 10.5 million GBP investment.
The digital manufacturing company is building a new 5,000 square metre production facility in Putzbrunn, Germany, which is set to be kitted out with a further 25 machines and CNC machining centre, in a bid to meet growing demand for additive manufacturing technology.
Protolabs specialises in the fast turnaround of custom prototypes and low volume production parts with a range of 3D printing, CNC machining, and injection moulding processes. Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director of Protolabs Europe, believes this new facility will give the company “the capacity to speed this process up even more to real time.”
In addition to more machines, the facility is set to benefit from in-house end-to-end solutions such as automated finishing, colouring and painting systems, which support the post-processing of 3D printed parts for high-end applications. With this increased capacity, Klass added the company will be “able to deliver more projects in as little as one day.”
Construction has already started and the initial shell set to be completed by the end of this year with machine installations scheduled to be carried out in several stages from May 2021. Protolabs is also said to be moving all departments from its current building in Feldkirchen near Munich to the new site.
The announcement builds on a 5 million GBP expansion happening at Protolabs’ European headquarters in Telford, UK where the company is building a 50,000 sq. ft. extension to house an additional 50 CNC machines and 20 injection moulding presses.
Klaas added: “Our expansion plans in the UK and Germany show that our concept of digitalisation and automated processes is in line with the spirit of the times and the requirement to support our customers in bringing products to market in the shortest possible time.”