Sep 5, 2017 | By Julia

BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft, one of the largest equity investment funds for small and medium size businesses in Germany, has officially sunk its teeth into the liquid 3D printing game with a seven-figure investment in 3D printing company German RepRap GmbH. The massive financier has now secured itself as a minority shareholder in RepRap’s framework, whose output ranges from applications in medical technology to automotive and mechanical engineering.

Not just any 3D printing company, RepRap has been carving a sizeable niche for itself for some time now in Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) technology. Founded in 2010 as a straightforward business-to-consumer (B2C) provider, the German company has since upped its game, shifting its focus solely toward devices for professional use in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. Since 2015, RepRap has emphasized the development and distribution of a growing number of research facilities around the world, catching the eye of numerous investors in the process.

The company’s biggest innovation, however, came in 2016 with the launch of its groundbreaking LAM technology. Based on the prototype developed by English scientist Adrian Bowyer, this 3D printing process enables the printing of liquids such as silicone, allowing for the formation of complex parts that would be impossible to achieve through traditional injection molding. With a roster of LAM platforms such as the Dow Coming LC-3335, launched late last year, functional prototypes can be 3D printed in silicone rubber, enabling small manufacturing trials of elaborate parts — a game changer within both the 3D printing and entrepreneurial industries.

Following Bowyer’s original ethos of knowledge-sharing, RepRap has remained a proud open source company to date, a strategy that company representatives say has secured their popular position among clients worldwide. “Our B2B customers appreciate the fact that 3D printers from German RepRap offer an ‘open source’ approach,” says Florian Bautz, Founder and Managing Director. “It is possible to define your own individual processes, change the material, adjust the temperature or the speed. This makes them decisively different from the ‘usually closed’ systems of competition," he added.

BayBG’s stance has also remained positive in light of the recent seven-figure investment. "BayBG has invested in German RepRap because we want to enable the company to achieve faster growth through rapid market closure," says BayBG's investment manager Lukas Biberacher.  

Already leveraging its LAM technology across numerous industries, RepRap is now poised to go even bigger with its reach. Current applications of the German 3D printing system include the serial production of 40,000 parts for car designer Thomas Pazulla, spare parts production at crane producers Schmid Hebebühnenverleih Minikranverleih, and the development and production of an autonomous sailing boat for the Darmstadt sailing team. Where the German LAM system manufacturer decides to focus its efforts next remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: they won’t be messing around with seven figures under their belt.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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