German group Thyssenkrupp plans to open its own 3D printing center this year to manufacture products for its customers. As well as producing steel, submarines and elevators, Thyssenkrupp supplies thousands of tonnes of metal and plastic products and provides supply-chain management services to a quarter of a million customers worldwide.
Some components such as airline or wind-turbine parts can now be made by 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, in which objects are printed in layers directly from a computer design instead of being cut out of blocks of material.
This saves money on material costs by reducing the number of parts needed tenfold or more, and also saves time from design to manufacturing, allowing objects to be produced in small batches in a cost-effective way.
“We have decided … to establish our own 3D printing center” said Hans-Josef Hoss.