It’s always interesting to watch as large, well-established companies enter the additive manufacturing market. Swiss company Bossard has been around for more than 185 years and is among the market leaders in fastening technology in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. The multinational company has 2,300 employees in 80 locations and partners in every global region. Bossard specializes in fasteners including screws, nuts, bolts, washers, pins, etc. – and this week announced that it would be taking the leap from traditional manufacturing into 3D printing.
Along with its subsidiary KVT-Fastening, Bossard will present three additive manufacturing technologies this week at the Additive Manufacturing Expo, which is taking place in Lucerne on March 6th and 7th. The company will be working with three partners to develop 3D printers using three different technologies: laser metal fusion, fused filament fabrication, and stereolithography.
For the development of laser metal fusion devices, Bossard is partnering with the TRUMPF Group, the only company to offer both laser metal fusion and laser metal deposition. Its products include full solutions that combine digitalization, machines and services, including proprietary laser sources. Recently the company released the TruPrint 5000, a triple-laser machine that TRUMPF claims is the fastest and most productive medium-format 3D printer in the world. With roughly 70 subsidiaries, TRUMPF is represented in every European country as well as North and South America and Asia.
For fused filament fabrication, Bossard will be working with German RepRap. The German company has been developing FFF 3D printers since 2013, and offers six different models ranging from the compact X150 to the large format X1000. Its customers are a diverse group, including industrial companies, designers, artists, architects, schools, and hobbyists. German RepRap also offers software, materials and accessories among its products.
Another German company, Henkel, will be working with Bossard to develop stereolithography 3D printers. Henkel is the largest adhesives manufacturer in the world, and focuses on five business areas: Packaging and Consumer Goods; Transport and Metal; General Industry; Electronics; and Consumers, Craftsmen and Building. The company produces the Loctite PR10 3D printer along with multiple 3D printing resins, and already has a longstanding partnership with KVT-Fastening. Henkel has been in business since 1876.
Partnering with these three companies will allow Bossard to sell industrial 3D printers and consumables including filament and metal powder. The company will also act as a partnering consultant for customers looking to design complex parts for 3D printing.
“The Bossard Group views 3D printing as a forward-looking technology that will transform some areas of industrial manufacturing,” the company states.
“…The Group contributes with its technical expertise, vast experience in solving industrial manufacturing problems, and an established sales network. Our consulting services extend to the design of prototypes and complex customized components; application engineering and prototyping will act as a competence center.”
Bossard will work with its new partners to continually expand its line of 3D printers. Details have not been released as to when the first 3D printers will be on the market, but it appears as though the collection will be relatively expansive and continually growing, encompassing three major 3D printing technologies.
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