Reflections on 2017 – BigRep’s emerging global position in the Industrial Additive Manufacturing space- MADE IN GERMANY!

BigRep’s 3rd full year in business has been one of big strides forward across the board. From doubling sales, to exciting new products and collaborations, to increasing confidence about the position we have carved out for ourselves in a fast-growing 3D printing industry, it has been a great 2017.

The backbone of our business is our resource base and in this respect, we have seen significant changes. We were pleased to announce key new investments this year from Klöckner & Co and Körber. We also made some important appointments, including those of Moshe Aknin and Frank Marangell who each have CVs bulging with world-class 3D printing industry experience.

As President of BigRep America, Frank Marangell’s arrival signalled the opening of our US office. We have wasted no time in developing a strong US team and our engagement with this crucial market kicked off with a presence at signature additive manufacturing shows AMUG in Chicago and Rapid + TCT in Pittsburgh. In a similar vein, this year we continued to grow our network of resellers, so that we can now say BigRep is a company with a global reach to match our technological ambition.

Our Senior Management Team: René Gurka, Frank Marangell, Moshe Aknin & Stephan Beyer

3D printers, filaments & NOWlab: an increasingly customized 3D printing package

The development of that underpinning technology continues apace. This year we have been busily shipping our new BigRep STUDIO machines, as well as introducing new specialist 3D printer filaments and 3D printer software solutions. But we do not just sell machines and materials. The value we can add through hands-on work with clients to tackle big additive manufacturing challenges in their specific use cases became very clear this year. Our research and innovation hub NOWlab drives this work forward. NOWlab is playing a central role in our ground-breaking end-use parts manufacturing project with Deutsche Bahn, as well as numerous projects in other industries.

BigRep’s experts are waiting to sink their teeth into your unique and challenging use case.

The above activities are all part of BigRep’s maturation into a company with a clear and valuable role in the 3D printing industry. That transition requires that we work to our strengths and find industry-leading strategic partners with whom to work. For this reason, our production agreement with long-established German industrial firm Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG was an important piece of groundwork in establishing BigRep.

BigRep STUDIO, compact industrial 3D printer
BigRep STUDIO: Our Compact Industrial 3D Printer

Growing interest in innovative Additive Manufacturing projects

So, it has been a year of great progress for BigRep, in three key areas: the basic infrastructure to build industrial machines; our 3D printing product and service package and developing industry track record; and our growing strategic connections for the future. These developments have delivered us greater exposure and interest from a range of stakeholders and at different cross-industry events. The August visit to BigRep’s offices by Ramona Pop of the German Green Party was just one of many from potential clients and a wider audience enthused by industry 4.0. I was pleased to share a platform at bitkom’s September 3D Printing Summit with colleagues from Braunschweig University of Art and Audi to talk about our fantastic car seat project. Our work with Deutsche Bahn has created a buzz and led to my appearance with Managing Director of ‘Mobility goes Additive’ Stefanie Brickwede at CREATING URBAN TECH in October.

November’s formnext show, the high point in the year for the additive manufacturing industry, was our opportunity to assess how far we’ve come in 2017 and to further shape our vision for the future. The message I took from a supremely busy four days engaging with colleagues across industry is that we are moving in the right direction with our technology, with our research-oriented and tailored approach to clients, and with our strategic plan to build machines for industrial users. Looking forward to 2018, our mission will be to push ahead on these core aspects of our work. Our headline task within this is to apply BigRep’s 3D printing technology and NOWlab’s ingenuity to a new round of even more impressive end-use applications. For that we need professional clients willing to think big and trust in the research processes necessary to realize further breakthroughs in additive manufacturing technology.