Protolabs invests £10.5 million to increase AM capability

May 20, 2020

Left to right: Michael Meier, Protolabs; Edwin Klostermeier, Mayor of Putzbrunn; and Daniel Cohn, Protolabs, at the Putzbrunn facility construction site (Courtesy Protolabs)

Protolabs, Maple Plain, Minnesota, USA, has begun work on a £10.5 million facility that is expected to increase its Additive Manufacturing capability by 50%, in order to meet growing demand.

The company is building a new 5,000 m2 production facility in Putzbrunn, Germany, that will provide customers with greater access to its automated manufacturing processes and quality systems. Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacting economies across Europe, construction of the new building has started, with the initial shell scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2020, and the fit-out and machinery due to be installed in several stages beginning in May 2021.

Additionally, up to twenty-five further machines and additional equipment will be added to the existing technology, whilst a CNC machining centre, with a 5-axis milling machine, will be installed to support the finishing of additively manufactured parts for high-end applications. Automated finishing, colouring and painting systems will also be part of the expansion, along with additional AM technologies in the future.

Protolabs explains that this is the latest investment by the company in supporting its global customer base across automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy industry, and follows a £5 million extension currently being finalised at its European Headquarters in Telford, Shropshire, UK.

“We are the world’s fastest digital manufacturer, but a major goal for us is to produce 3D printed parts even faster,” stated Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director of Protolabs Europe. “When a finished design enters our online ordering platform it goes through a short feasibility check by our expert design team and then on to be printed. The new facility will give us the capacity to speed this process up even more to real-time.”

Klass added, “We will be able to move all departments from the current building in Feldkirchen near Munich to Putzbrunn and, importantly, with the larger production area and 50% more capacity, we’ll be able to deliver even more projects in as little as one day. With optimised work processes and additional employees, the new location will support our activity in the UK, especially our ability to produce certified medical devices under ISO 13485.”

He concluded, “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.”

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap