3D Printers

INTERVIEW: Maurits Blok Tractus3D isn’t ‘just another 3D printer company’

Maurits Blok is the newly appointed Commercial Director of Dutch industrial 3D printer provider Tractus3D. Founded in 2015, Tractus3D manufactures a range of large-volume delta 3D printers and desktop systems, and is gearing up for the commercial shipment of a new high temperature 3D printer.

In a rapidly growing and highly competitive market, the company is committed to distinguishing itself from the field with a customer-focused approach. In this interview, 3D Printing Industry gains insight into Blok’s plan for Tractus3D’s commercial innovation, and receives the latest details of its upcoming PEEK 3D printer, scheduled for shipment January 2019.

Maurits Blok, Commercial Director of Tractus3D, and a large scale 3D print of a tower. Photo via Tractus3D
Maurits Blok, Commercial Director of Tractus3D, on 3D printed chair holding a large scale printed tower. Photo via Tractus3D

‘Big Thinking, Large Printing’

“At Tractus3D, we have determined a clear focus on our High Temperature Series (i.e. PEEK) and Large Volume Series,” explains Blok, “With these printers we distinguish ourselves from the competition.”

“We use the phrase ‘Big Thinking, Large Printing’ to demonstrate the possibilities in 3D printing with our machines.”

Tractus3D’s large scale 3D printers exist as the T3000 (XL) model and the T3500 (XXL). The T3000 has a build volume of 1000 mm x 1450 mm (W x H) whereas the T3500 operates 1000 mm x 2000 mm (W x H) a size Blok believes to be “the largest commercially available Delta 3D printer.” Both 3D printers offer a maximum print speed of 200 mm/s, and a resolution of 20 to 1000μm. This gives user the ability to 3D print “life size” objects.

Applying the customer focus to these systems, the T3000 and T3500 are competitively priced compared to other large volume 3D printers, and feature user-friendly specifications, including automatic build platform compensation, out of filament detection, and an open materials system.

In addition to hardware features, Tractus3D applies a great deal of emphasis on its customer service delivery. “We are unique in providing a worldwide installation service, flying an engineer over to install the 3D printer and providing a training on how to operate it,” says Blok, “So we aim to build a strong relationship with the customer, making sure everything is to their satisfaction.”

Large scale 3D printer from Tractus3D. Photo via Tractus3D
Large scale 3D printer from Tractus3D. Photo via Tractus3D

High-performance demand

3D printer development at Tractus3D is driven by customer demand, not only in terms of volume but also for high-performance materials. “Innovation is key to remain competitive,” comments Blok, “this goes hand in hand with listening to the wishes of our existing and potential clients.”

With the new T850P, Tractus3D customers will be able to print materials like PEEK, PEI/ULTEM and Carbon PEEK. The T850P is the successor of the T650P and the most notable differences are its bigger build volume of 300 mm x 380 mm (diameter x height) and a heated chamber.

The heated chamber makes sure the temperature inside is at the required level, in combination with a printhead which goes up to 450°C. The PEEK 3D printer is competitively priced at less than 12.000 euros and now available as pre-order with a special early bird discount until 31 December 2018.

Like Tractus3D’s large scale 3D printers, the T850P filament run-out detection, an open materials system and automatic build platform compensation, in addition to other usability features including a starter kit which helps customers get ready to print in less than 30 minutes.

 “The high temperature Tractus3D printers are perfect to create strong and lightweight objects,” says Blok, particularly those made in PEEK, “This material has properties that correspond to metals in terms of strength and heat and chemical resistance. Our clients see this material as the ideal alternative for metal parts, but for medical applications as well due to the biocompatibility of PEEK.”

In order to combat obsolescence, all Tractus3D printers also have a modular design to facilitate future upgrades. As with installation, upgrades can be made by Tractus3D engineers, though in theory they should be easy to replace too.

PEEK 3D print sample from the T850P. Image via Tractus3D
PEEK 3D print sample from the T850P. Image via Tractus3D

Achieve industrial 3D printing

The focus on large build volumes and high-performance materials of Tractus3D systems is ultimately what Blok identifies as the company’s primary differentiator. He says, “We don’t want to be the yet another 3D printer company which offers similar machines that are already widely available,”

“Tractus3D already set out a long-term expansion strategy that I fully support and endorse. It is my goal to turn Tractus3D into the leading brand in industrial 3D printing.”

For more information and examples of large volume 3D printing visit the Tractus3D website. Also, take advantage of the T850P early bird discount and visit the pre-order page.

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Featured image shows Maurits Blok, Commercial Director of Tractus3D, and a large scale 3D print of a tower. Photo via Tractus3D