Germany is set to play a leading role in the new 3D printing division of General Electric. The US company wants to invest €100 million ($107.6 million) in a new 3D campus in the Bavarian town of Lichtenfels, Handelsblatt has learned from industry sources. Concept Laser, the 3D printing metal specialist recently acquired by GE, is also based there. In addition, the new global GE Additive division could also be based in Germany, giving rival Siemens a run for its money on home turf.
Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president of the division, did not want to confirm that possibility. “Germany is a great location,” he did say, however. GE hopes to make a $1 billion in sales in the 3D printing market by 2020, he said, and sell 10,000 machines in 10 years. In addition to Concept Laser, GE also acquired the Swedish firm Arcam. Together with the purchase of Arcam, the Americans became a world market leader in industrial metal 3D printing. Concept Laser recently sold 400 units with €91 million in sales.
Industrial 3D printing is currently seeing a breakthrough in mass production in some branches. Up until now, mostly prototypes have been produced with additive processes. “The business will be a multi-billion dollar market,” Frank Herzog, founder of Concept Laser, told Handelsblatt.
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Axel Höpner is head of the Handelsblatt office in Munich. Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org