May 6, 2014

The Danish start-up company Blueprinter ApS was set up in 2009 aiming to create a kind of "office 3D printer" with affordable price and high printing quality. Now Blueprinter has started a volume production and are shipping printers all over Europe.

Blueprinter's patent SHS (selective heat sintering) 3D printing technology was launched at Euromold in 2011. It is similar to laser sintering, but instead of using a laser SHS uses a thermal printhead. The powder bed is held at an elevated temperature so the mechanically-scanned head only has to elevate the temperature slightly above the powder's melting temperature to selectively bond it.

How does it work? A 3D model is designed in a CAD software then it is sliced into layers using another program. When the "print" button is pressed, the printer spreads plastic powder in a thin layer across the build chamber. The thermal printhead starts to move back and forth, and heat from the printhead melts each cross section into the plastic powder layer. Again the 3D printer prepares new layers of plastic powder, and the thermal printhead continues to apply heat onto layers of powder. Eventually the 3D model is made in the build chamber - surrounded by unmelted powder. Unused powder is 100% recyclable and there is no need for additional support materials.

Blueprinter started with an idea. In 2007, when Frederik Tjellesen and Anders Hartmann, founders of Blueprinter, were looking for ideas for their master's thesis, they ended up with each of them writing a list of 5 suggestions, and they both had the topic "3D printing" on the lists. Both of them had worked with prototyping and knew about professional 3D printers, therefore they decided to create the affordable 3D version of the professional printer, and "at the same time maintaining the quality required by professionals."

That was the start of the Blueprinter project. With the help of more than €150,000 investment capital from Seed Capital, the pair came up with the Blueprinter based on selective heat sintering technology.

With selective heat sintering technology the 3D printer can make the forming of any complex geometry(minimum wall thickness is 1 mm). Multiple 3D models can be loaded and printed at the same time. One important part is its easy-to-use cleaning station that allows you to re-use more than 90% of your powder.


  • Build chamber (mm): 200 x 160 x 140 (X * Y * Z)
  • Printing speed: 2-3 mm/hour
  • Layer thickness: 0.1 mm
  • File formats: STL
  • Printer dimensions (cm): 115 x 51 x 57 (W * D * H)

"Since 2009 everything has been about getting the Blueprinter to work consistently and transform it into the product we knew it could become," says Niels Appel, CEO of Blueprinter. "Blueprinter is no longer just a development house. With the launch of the Blueprinter, it's a business."

By now, Blueprinter has resellers primarily in Europe and the printer have been sold to a limited number of educational institutions and engineers. The company says it is now starting to recruit resellers outside Europe. "This is an important milestone for Blueprinter, and we can definitely feel an increase in demand. Customers are talking to each other and the word is spreading. Right now we are busy sending printers around mostly in Europe", Niels says.

Blueprinter has now expanded from the 2 founders to a large number of employees. "In the beginning of the Blueprinter project I'd never imagined that we would sit in a big office with a large number of colleagues around us," Anders says. "At the time it seemed completely unrealistic."

A printed jar with a screw cap.

Length: 150 mm. Width: 34 mm. Printing costs: €2.8

Posted in 3D Printers

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3D Fabber wrote at 8/23/2014 11:56:50 AM:

@Laz1172 The technology is very different to the Zcorp Color Jet Printing Technology which is a non-sintering based technology, which has very different material properties. But for me as 3D Printing Service Bureau his ability to deliver comparable quality at acceptable speed is key and both is still a bit blurred at this point of time... 1. Speed - the speed of 2-3mm7h is much less as originally announced 7-8mm/h. This means to produce a max sized part of 14cm it takes 48 to 70h = 2-3 days! Current SLS system can build 20mm/h (EOS Formiga P110) 2. The parts that I saw on Euromold 2009 hat inferior quality. From the above report it seems that quality has improved substantially at the cost of prolonged build time. With 10mm/h and equal strength and surface quality equal to a current SLS system of EOS or 3D Systems this system would be my favorite next investment. I hope to see them on Euromold 2014 with their machine and some blueprinter sample parts.

Laz1172 wrote at 5/9/2014 2:56:48 PM:

Why are we looking at a rehash of a Zcorp design without comparing it to the zcorp or 3D systems versions of the same technology. The best way to evaluate new technologies is to compare them to what has come before. How is this new or different? 3D Systems machines print in full color and some have built in depowdering stations, they are office friendly as well. What makes this a better product and not just a "me too" product?

Folo3D wrote at 5/8/2014 7:35:30 PM:

Hummm .... let's wait that SLS's patents gone public .... and that will be the real revolution ;)

TempeNerd wrote at 5/6/2014 4:41:41 PM:

The introduction price of Blueprinter's SHS 3D printer is €9,995, and the material costs €49 per kilogram. It is expected to launch in the first half of 2012. Pre-order is possible via their website From earlier article (March, 2012):

jd90 wrote at 5/6/2014 3:50:16 PM:

It seems this technology is probably not as good as SLS, more risk of problems. I get the feeling this technology wouldn't exist if it weren't for patents on SLS.

DJH wrote at 5/6/2014 3:21:25 PM:

I wonder what the price is?

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