BigRep’s Next Big Plans
We caught up recently with BigRep for more on their next steps in development.
Frank Marangell, appointed President of BigRep North America in 2017 and now also the company’s CBO, shared a look into the latest 3D printers and where the company is looking next. Those plans have been amended by an announcement released today regarding BigRep’s executive leadership, coming together to paint an interesting picture of the second half of 2019 and beyond at the Germany-based company.
When last we caught up in person, at SOLIDWORKS World 2019, BigRep was just starting to open up about the first installation of its PRO 3D printer, introduced at formnext 2018. It’s been no secret the company has been looking more industrial — along with much of the 3D printing industry — and in reliably taking large-format 3D printing to that next, bigger level.
The BigRep PRO has been in the hands of several beta customers; to date, only Boyce Technologies has been named. That company is putting the PRO to use in creating unique engineering solutions including outdoor 5G kiosks on the streets of NYC. Other installations, Marangell noted, are with automotive, aerospace, and industrial companies (including at least one very well-recognized name I can’t share).
“These are serious companies excited about the PRO,” Marangell noted. “They’re early adopters more than beta customers; we’ll be shipping production units in three weeks.”
It’s been about that time since our chat, so the market should be seeing production installations now.
While the company “wants to move to an entirely industrial base,” they have not forgotten where they started and are still selling their initial BigRep ONE 3D printer. That may not be the longest-lasting situation, though, as they do continue to focus on production applications.
“Customers really want better material abilities,” Marangell noted mildly.
BigRep STUDIO G2
So BigRep also recently introduced the STUDIO G2 system. This is an upgrade from the original STUDIO 3D printer, offering an enclosed system for higher-temperature capabilities along with an enclosed and heated filament cabinet. The company wanted to redesign the frame and carriage, Marangell explained, and they ensured semiautomatic bed leveling and added a ruby nozzle for use with harder materials. The doors changed as well, offering a “more solid, standard opening” for ease of use.
“This system has better material properties. It can handle all mid-range materials. We’re releasing with Nylon 6 and Nylon 66, and will be releasing more: ASA, more nylons, whatever extrudes at above 300 degrees,” Marangell said.
Pricing for the STUDIO G2 is around $60K, adding another option for users who might be interested in BigRep’s large-format capabilities but are perhaps not ready to drop $190K on the PRO system.
BigRep has shown some great interest in the transportation market, creating airless tires for bicycles and its popular NERA, which is an almost entirely 3D printed electric motorbike prototype.
“These have been very successful at shows, we’re glad to bring them,” Marangell said, pointing out that the NERA bike attracted great attention at RAPID + TCT where it was set up in the aisle in front of the BigRep booth.
As an update following our chat, BigRep today announced that its executive structure is changing.
Dr. Stephan Beyer is stepping down from his active role as the CEO into an “advisory function.” Beyer is not leaving the company, but rather than serving in management will be more of a consultant.
It’s unclear what drove the move; BigRep simply says that “Stephan Beyer has accomplished his mission for the Berlin-based company.” The press release adds:
“Dr. Beyer’s duties will be taken over by the current management team of Co-General Manager Martin Back, Daniel Büning (CIO), Frank Marangell (CBO) and Stefan Kaufmann (Head of R&D).”
This group of men will, it seems, jointly assume the general management for the “next phase of the company’s business development.”