Toward the end of last year, GE acquired Concept Laser, maker of LaserCUSING metal 3D printing technology and responsible for the commercialization of the first metal additive manufacturing machine. As part of the acquisition, GE was to invest in Concept Laser‘s Lichtenfels, Germany headquarters, which would become a major German hub for the company. Now, GE and Concept Laser are expanding with a brand new facility, also in Lichtenfels, on which ground was broken today.

The 3D Campus, as the facility will be called, will be a center for research and development as well as production, service and logistics. It will be around 40,000 square meters and will house about 500 employees, bringing several new jobs to the region. The 3D Campus is expected to be ready for operation by early 2019.

“The investment made by GE and Concept Laser is a clear statement of confidence in the location. It secures jobs and provides a vital boost to growth in the region,” said Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy, and Technology. “The 3D Campus will create a center for 3D metal printing that offers real added value for the whole of Bavaria. 3D printing is becoming more prevalent in almost all sectors because it allows lighter, more variable and more stable components to be produced using fewer resources. Additive Manufacturing therefore has an important role to play for Bavaria as a forward-looking industrial location.”

The 3D Campus will take Concept Laser’s 3D printer production capacity to about four times what it is now, making it a global GE center for the production of metal 3D printers. About €105 million will be invested into the facility, accommodating Concept Laser’s recent growth and making room for further expansion. The current facilities in Lichtenfels/Schney cannot be expanded any further, necessitating this new facility, which will be an impressive one. 3,800 truckloads of cement will be laid in the 3D Campus, plus 3,600 tons of steel, about the weight of 6.5 fully loaded Airbus A380 aircraft. The posts for the building add up to about 5.9 kilometers.

The necessity of such a large new facility reflects how much recent growth Concept Laser has seen, and also provides room for much more growth in the future.

“I am pleased to take the next step in our growth strategy with today’s groundbreaking. We are not only laying the foundation for a new facility, but also creating skilled jobs in the region. Lichtenfels will become a global beacon for industrial 3D printing as the new GE center,” said Frank Herzog, founder and Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Concept Laser GmbH. “Today is a good day for Lichtenfels and the region. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this advancement possible.”

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[Image: GE]

 

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