Materialise Expands in Poland, Focuses on Software

Posted Date 10/05/17

Belgian 3D printing service provider has had a busy year. The company has built a plastics materials factory in Poland and is expanding its HQ in Leuven. It is also working on new 3D printing software, for its own use and for manufacturing companies, CEO Wilfried Vancraen told 3D Print.

The Polish factory will produce plastic powders with a lot of processes in it automated in a bid to deliver shorter lead times, Vancraen said, adding the facility will also feature post-processing and smoothing processes.

At the same time, the company’s Polish business also has a team of software developers working on new programs that will provide more control over the 3D printing process, including ensuring all settings and finishes are accurate – something that is much more difficult to do in a manufacturing setting than in prototyping, the CEO noted.

The reason Materialise is focusing so much on manufacturing is that, according to Vancraen, whole industry sectors are moving to 3D printing from traditional manufacturing. This move will require a lot of 3D printers with industrial capabilities.

Perhaps it’s this move that has made 2017 much more successful for 3D printing field players than the last two years. According to figures from Wohlers, 2015 and 2016 were relatively slow but this year is different – interest in the technology is picking up and Materialise is there to respond to this interest.

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