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.”

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 176-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Innovation and differentiation: Precious metal Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery sector
  • Unrealised potential: The story and status of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion
  • Freemelt AB: Open source technology to explore the potential of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion
  • In pursuit of perfection: A case study on how Bugatti and APWORKS leverage the full potential of AM
  • Facing obstacles to profitability in metal AM: An Operational Excellence perspective
  • Mass-production using PBF-LB: How laser beam measurements can help pave the way
  • Link3D’s ‘Additive Manufacturing Maturity Model’: Developing an agile and resilient supply chain
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM): Binder Jetting Technology demystified
  • > More information

Latest news


    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    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 in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter

    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap