BigRep (3)

The Berlin-based tech startup BigRep has printed the largest FDM-3D printed drone in the world: DUSTER. The market and technological leader for large-scale serial 3D printing has produced an ultra-light, stable and with carbon threads reinforced copter drone frame with the BigRep ONE, the world's largest serial 3D printer. With dimensions of 220x190x60cm, the drone's copter frame is designed to accommodate eight electric motors, each with up to 3.8kW. The load capacity of the DUSTER is 40 to 60kg. If this full capacity is utilized, the flight time is between seven and forty minutes; with the use of further batteries it can be extended up to seventy minutes.

The drone nicknamed DUSTER is officially called OIC Copter System # 42 OT. The "OT" stands for "organic tensegrity" and describes both the organic design of the 3D printed components that form the core of the copter frame, as well as the carbon threads absorbing the frame’s tension – both while the drone is stationary and in flight. The combination of the thin-walled, hollow 3D printed parts and the carbon threads is essential for the stability and function of a ultra-light drone of this size: The printed parts are particularly well adapted to absorbing high pressure but not at performing bending and pulling motions; however the carbon threads contribute enormously to handling pulling forces. By combining the two materials, the shortcomings of the individual materials are perfectly balanced, which enhances the advantages of both.

DUSTER was jointly developed with the drone specialist Robert Reichert of OiC Drones, the first full-service drone provider. The engineer and industrial designer experimented early on with systems that could carry cameras in the air in a stable manner. With OiC, he focuses on manufacturing highly specialized flying robots. So far, DUSTER is the largest drone, which Reichert has been involved in the construction of: "Without the BigRep ONE, producing a drone of this size would not have been possible. Large-scale 3D printing allows us to think of completely new dimensions when it comes to building drones. I am very proud to have been involved in the development of DUSTER, since this drone has established a completely new benchmark."

The 3D printed copter frame for the DUSTER is very versatile as a platform and is among other things particularly suitable for use in the industrial and agriculture sectors. In the latter, the drone could be utilized for a controlled, semi-autonomous delivery of fertilizers and biological pesticides. Moreover, the drone can be used for example in the sustainable cultivation of wine.

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BigRep, developer and manufacturer of the world’s largest serially produced 3D printer, has successfully closed a Series A financing round. The family-run Koehler Paper Group and venture capital firm b-to-v will join existing shareholders such as KFW-Bankengruppe and its ERP-Startfonds, to invest over €7 Million in BigRep GmbH. “We are thrilled to have found further investors with Koehler and b-to-v who appreciate the capacities of our large-scale serial 3D printing solutions and share our vision: as the 21st century’s key industry, 3D printing will substantially change global supply chains and production processes. We will use this fresh capital to further our product development, expand our global market presence, and to internationalize and strengthen our distribution,“ says BigRep CEO René Gurka.

The Koehler Paper Group has been investing in new technologies increasingly via financial involvement with startups in recent years. The industrial enterprise, family-run for eight generations, also plans to participate in the growing market for 3D printing. “We have thoroughly studied the market for 3D printing and are positive that BigRep is one of the best positioned providers in the rapidly growing segment for industrial clients,” Koehler Paper Group CEO Kai Furler states.

With offices in St. Gallen and Berlin, venture capital firm b-to-v is one of the leading networks for entrepreneurial private investors in Europe. Dr. Christian Reitberger, Lead Investor at b-to-v, was previously involved in BigRep’s seed funding as a Business Angel: “BigRep’s aim is to reduce the entry barriers for industrial 3D printing through lower operating costs, establishing a coherent software environment, and smart filament material innovations. BigRep will access new customer groups for additive manufacturing and provide industry insiders with a wider applicability in everyday use, too“.

The market for professional 3D printing has been growing rapidly: the annual growth rate is expected to increase by approximately 20 percent by 2020. Wohlers Report, the industry’s preeminent source, estimated the worldwide market for 3D printing was worth over US$5 billion in 2015. The competition is relatively small in the segment for large-scale serial 3D printing, particularly cost-efficient 3D printing solutions. This is not the only field where BigRep has succeeded in establishing global market leadership in just 18 months. Thanks to its unique printing volume of over 1m3, which allows for prints 27 times the size provided by customary appliances, as well as its integrated software solutions, the BigRep ONE, which is available already in its third generation, also sets the industry’s technological standard.

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Friday, 21 November 2014 14:41

BigRep Announces BigRep ONE.2 1.3m³ 3D Printer

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BigRep is bringing big ideas to life. At EuroMold 2014 in Frankfurt the Berlin based company is showing for the first time its new model, the BigRep ONE.2. With a working volume of 1100 x 1067 x 1097 mm (1.3 m³) it is one of the biggest 3D printers available. The prototype BigRep ONE was introduced in February 2014 and caused a sensation all over the global 3D-printing community. Whereas conventional 3D-printers mostly produce hand-sized models, the BigRep ONE.2 is enabling its users to realize objects and molds in full scale.

With a printing volume of nearly 1.5 m³ prototypes, models or molds can be printed out directly, and products for end users like designer furniture are also easily to realize. At EuroMold 2014, BigRep will demonstrate that the BigRep ONE.2 is perfectly apt to produce molds as well. BigRep ONE.2 printed full-scale molds for glass vases. With these molds, a glassmaking factory realized vases at a size of 40 x 60 cm.  Vases, molds and of course the BigRep ONE.2 are exhibited at EuroMold 2014, hall 11.0 / booth F86.

BigRep ONE.2 uses Fused Deposition Modeling/ Fused Filament Modeling (FDM/FFM). This is by far the most cost-effective method on the market and allows at the same time the use of a vast range of colors and materials. Production and global sales of BigRep ONE.2 have started. The printers are being shipped to Europe, Asia and the USA.

Lukas Oehmigen, CTO and founder of BigRep comments: “With our lates project we are demonstrating, how 3D-printing can be used in manufacturing. Our objective is to make full-size 3D-printing affordable for everyone – in design, prototyping and manufacturing. In this class, we are setting the standards. Costs for printer and filament are far below those of our competitors. Thus, we will revolutionize manufacturing and make it more flexible.”

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