AddLab becomes K3D-AddFab, increases production for 3D printed aerospace and high-tech parts

AddLab a pilot factory for 3D printing metal components in Eindhoven, will now operate under the name K3D-AddFab. The center is jointly run by four Dutch companies precision manufacturer KMWE, mechatronics supplier NTS-Group, metal manufacturer Machinefabriek De Valkwill, and metal 3D printing service K3D.

It was also announced that K3D-AddFab, will increase the production of metal 3D printed parts for high-tech equipment and aerospace sector.

CEO of KMWE, Edward Voncken, said, “Within K3DAddFab we will jointly work on our development projects for the high-tech industry and aerospace customers like Airbus.” 

A metal oil filter 3D printed by K3D. Image via K3D.
A metal oil filter 3D printed by K3D. Image via K3D.

From AddLab to K3D-AddFab

AddLab began in 2013 as a shared research and production facility for metal 3D printing. Eindhoven-based metal 3D printer manufacturer Additive Industries was its organizing partner. Other partners included KMWE, NTS Group, Frencken Europe, Machinefabriek De Valk, FMI, MTA, Philips Innovation Services, Kaak Group, Brainport Industries, De Lage Landen, and SRE.

In 2016, the AddLab program became AddFab under the supervision of KMWE, NTS Group and Machinefabriek De Valk, as some of the other partners invested to set up in-house facilities such as the baking equipment manufacturer Kaak Group, who bought two MetalFAB1 3D printers by the Additive Industries.

K3D, which has now been named the organizing partner of K3D-AddFab, currently has a metal 3D printing facility named Printing Technology Center, near Eindhoven.

To support the K3D-AddFab, Additive Industries will provide research and technical assistance. Furthermore, another MetalFAB1 system will be installed at the high-tech innovation hub, Brainport Industries Campus, in Eindhoven, headed by KMWE’s CEO Edward Voncken.

Jan-Cees Santema, Sales Director Europe of Additive Industries, said, “For us K3D-AddFab will be the testbed for distributed manufacturing in demanding markets as well as an extra training and demonstration center around the corner from our headquarters. In a close partnership we will be able to accelerate learning that started when we opened AddLab almost six years ago.”

The MetalFAB1 printer by Additive Industries. Image via Additive Industries
The MetalFAB1 printer by Additive Industries. Image via Additive Industries

Increasing metal additive manufacturing

At K3D’s Printing Technology Center, five Dutch companies currently benefit from the metal 3D printing facilities. Bronkhorst, a flow meters and controller manufacturer, Copal an unloading and palletizing systems maker, Hittech Group a metal specialist and high-tech systems supplier, Van Raam special needs bicycle manufacturer, and Royal Eijkelkamp a soil and water research company.

K3D-AddFab will be the second 3D printing facility under the management of K3D. Luuk Wissink, CEO of K3D, said, “We are proud to be able to take our unique collaboration in industrial additive manufacturing to the next phase and scale for series production of high-tech equipment parts and aerospace components. The K3D-AddFab team will be an integral part of the K3D network of 3D Printing Centers allowing for load balancing, volume sharing and materials pooling.”

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Featured image shows a metal oil filter 3D printed by K3D. Image via K3D.