Nov 17, 2016 | By Benedict

BigRep, a Berlin-based manufacturer of large-scale 3D printers, has signed a multi-million-euro cooperation agreement with TNO, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. The deal was signed at the formnext trade show in Frankfurt, Germany.

TNO's Printvalley 3D printing system

Straight from one of the world’s biggest 3D printing events, here’s some big news from a manufacturer of very big 3D printers: Berlin-based BigRep has signed a cooperation agreement with TNO, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. As part of this new partnership, BigRep will invest one million euros into a joint research project called “AMSYSTEMS,” which will involve developing a fully automatic 3D printing production process capable of fabricating numerous objects at once in the shortest possible time.

The goal of AMSYSTEMS, which has already been implemented by the Eindhoven University of Technology, TNO, and several partners, is to increase 3D printing productivity by a factor of 10. This will require a system of automated post-processing by robots, and a general overhaul of the 3D printing production process—a challenge that BigRep is more than ready for.

“We are very proud to work together with the TNO on the revolution of future industrial production,” said BigRep CEO René Gurka. “When I saw the ‘sushi printer’, as we call the prototype of the fully automated 3D printing production system at BigRep, I immediately realized that we would deliver the next generation of 3D printing.”

According to BigRep, the new 3D printing production system will turn existing standards on their head, and the group has already started making radical innovations. These include the development of a laterally moving print bed that enables parts to be moved from one stage of production to the next as they are being printed.

“You can imagine this printer as an assembly line: the extruders remain static, but the bottom plate moves,” Gurka explained. “This combination of existing machine design for automated 3D printing production processes and integrated robotics is by far the smartest solution available on the market.”

BigRep ONE 3D printer

As part of the cooperation between BigRep and TNO, BigRep will have access to the “Printvalley,” TNO’s fully automated 3D printing system for hybrid production processes. Printvalley 2020, the latest version of the system, is due to be completed within the next 18 months, with BigRep planning to invest money and staffing into the project to help bring it to completion.

“Our task in this future-oriented cooperation will be to provide the production equipment for systems of all sizes, which can produce finished end products as well as spare parts for industrial customers from the automotive, mobility, mechanical engineering and aviation sectors,” Gurka commented.

The BigRep and TNO partnership reflects the 3D printing industry’s growing interest in end-to-end production systems. Back in September, industry giant 3D Systems outlined its plans for the future, which included prioritizing the development of a modular Stereolithography (SLA) production system capable of producing plastic parts on the factory floor with minimal human operation. Several other 3D printing companies have signaled their intention to develop a “Factory of the Future” containing all necessary systems for the end-to-end production of 3D printed parts.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive