Belgium-based Materialise, a global leader in software solutions and 3D printing services, has established a new metal competence centre for 3D printing in Bremen, Germany. The company has invested approximately €7.5m ($9m) in the 3,500m2 facility, which has the capacity for over 120 staff and more than 30 industrial metal 3D printers.

The company previously operated two sites in Bremen: a software development and distribution centre and an industrial manufacturing centre. The new opening will expand on the previous facilities and bring them together under one roof to support integrated production and development.

Demand for 3D printing technology has increased in recent years, with more companies implementing metal 3D printing in their serial production activities. This has intensified further following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Materialise stated in a press release that “as companies reassess their global supply chain strategy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this demand has further accelerated due to 3D printing’s ability to add resiliency, flexibility and reliability”.

Materialise will also focus on developing more sustainable metal 3D printing solutions at the new facility in line with its corporate goals.

“Our work in Bremen will explore opportunities to optimise printing processes, improve energy efficiency and more consistently recover and reuse metal powder to create more sustainable technologies,” said Jurgen Laudus, vice-president of Materialise.