K 2022: German-Chinese machine maker enters additive manufacturing arena / Two concepts headed to market in 2023
Michael Helneder, customer relations leader for the new business area, introduces the machines (Photo: PIE)
Additive manufacturing machinery is set to become the fourth pillar of Germany’s KraussMaffei group (KM, Munich;, joining injection moulding, extrusion, and reaction-process technology.

The two additive technology solutions presented by CEO Michael Ruf and his colleagues at the K 2022 show ( in Düsseldorf, Germany, pursue fundamentally different approaches: the powerPrint model, with a workspace of 10 m³, is intended for extremely large plastics parts, and the precisionPrint model has been designed for series manufacture.

With this step, KM wants to conquer a market that has been dominated for some time by competitors such as Arburg with its Freeformer brand machines. When asked why this move had come so late and at this moment, Michael Helneder, head of additive manufacturing customer relations, replied, “The market is ripe for series production.”

This statement refers above all to the smaller machine version precisionPrint, which works with liquid resins and UV lasers, and is designed for series production with up to 200,000 pieces. For the resins, KM said to date it has been working exclusively with Henkel subsidiary Loctite. Talks with other resin producers are believed to be ongoing, but names of possible partners were not disclosed.

The machine and solution concepts are currently at the beta-testing phase, Helneder explained. The intention is to first put the large-format printer – which processes granules, also fibre-reinforced, that have been melted by an extruder – on the market at the beginning of 2023, initially in Europe and the US, and then to follow this up with the smaller precision printer later in the year. Only after that will the machines be marketed in the rest of the world.
No word on likely sales, goals
Helneder declined to reveal the number of the machines the company hopes to sell in the first year. Also, the sales volume target for the new division was not disclosed even though KraussMaffei seems to be more set on a marathon than on a sprint. “There’s a large market for additive manufacturing,” Ruf said, “but it will take some convincing because the world has for many years been producing differently.” Nevertheless, Europe is regarded as an attractive market because 3D printing has already gathered speed there.

Away from the technical progress, KM is currently involved above all with relocation projects. Extrusion technology is moving to the new German plant in Laatzen, and the intention is that the new headquarters in Parsdorf, Germany, will become operational this year.
21.10.2022 [251404-0]
Published on 21.10.2022
KraussMaffei: Additive Fertigung als viertes StandbeinGerman version of this article...

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