Davide covered the commercial launch of the BigRep One at the 3D Printshow in New York last month, along with a couple of other 3D printers that made their debut at the same show. However, if you follow any of my reviews of 3D printing events, you will likely be familiar with some of those jaw dropping moments that invariably happen when walking a show floor. Inside 3D Printing Berlin did not let me down when I walked into — literally (I banged my knee, and yes, it hurt) — the BigRep. This is an FFF 3D printer that has to be seen to garner full comprehension of the scale of it. Pictures with dimensions sort of make you think, but they do not help you fully understand. To try to convey it more successfully in words it is nearly as tall as I am (5’6”) and it is definitely wider(!) — it has a cubed, sturdy frame. For a clearer picture I asked Rene Gurka, BigRep’s hands-on investor, to stand next to it.
Developed originally as a project by two artists — Lucas and Marcel — over two years, the interest from outsiders has been phenomenal Rene told me. Rene is BigRep’s MD and COO, and as I mentioned he is also an investor and works as such. He decided to get involved in the day to day business of BigRep such is his belief in it. The launch of the commercial venture eight weeks ago has generated even greater interest and the specs of the machine can leave you in no doubt as to why — with its 1.3 cubic metre build volume, printing resolution down to 0.1mm and stable frame, many creative professionals are clamoring for one of these machines with its price tag of 29k euros apparently. I asked how long the demo piece, a small coffee table, as you can see in the image took to print. Five days came the reply, which obviously brought a look of dismay to my face, because Rene quickly followed up with, “but what you should take into account is that many architectural models of this size, for example, often have a lead time of 4-6 weeks.” Fair point, well made! Rene says there is also a lot of interest from academic institutions and from many different geographic regions. Korea, Singapore and Brazil, with a large automotive sector, were a few of the regions he mentioned along with, of course, the US, the UK and the BigRep’s home market of Germany.
Being based in Berlin, bringing the BigRep to Inside 3D Printing here was a no-brainer. But there will be other shows throughout the year.
They are commercially ready — producing two machines per week to fulfill an extremely healthy order book, according to Rene. They are already looking at scaling up their production , including a US subsidiary which should open in three months or so.