The Koehler Group recently announced a strategic partnership with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading center for business creation and innovation, which was founded by Susanne Klatten in 2002.
As part of this start‐up collaboration, Koehler Invest has now loaned a BigRep Pro 3D printer to UnternehmerTUM’s MakerSpace for one year. BigRep is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of large‐format 3D printing, which can be used to speed up innovation processes, and boost flexibility and digitalization in production processes. Koehler has been providing support for startups for a number of years.
Inventors and startups
Koehler Group recently founded Koehler Invest GmbH to oversee its startup activities, with Philipp Prechtl taking over as managing director on 1 November. The company will focus on innovations from Koehler Group’s core business areas, with a view to driving future technologies and boosting entrepreneurship in Germany.
MakerSpace from UnternehmerTUM is a high‐tech workshop with locations in Garching and Munich, which provides students and professionals, startups, and independent entrepreneurs with access to innovative production technologies. The BigRep PRO 3D printer will be located at the Munich Urban Colab following in the footsteps of the BigRep One, which can be found on the UnternehmerTUM campus in Garching.
Kai Furler, CEO of the Koehler Group, emphasized, “With the new strategic partnership with UnternehmerTUM, our goal is to support and promote pioneering innovations, particularly in our core business areas of paper and renewable energies. The large‐format 3D‐printer from BigRep will prove an invaluable tool for new product innovations from start‐ups.”
Prototypes and small series
Koehler Group purchased the BigRep PRO and has lent it to Makerspace free of charge for a year. The system, which was developed for industrial applications, enables the production of prototypes as well as larger batches of parts and gives inventors and developers the opportunity to develop and bring technologies to market more quickly.
Previous spin‐offs from MakerSpace include ‘Curfboard’, which makes surf skateboards, vertical farming from ‘Agrilution’, and unmanned aircraft from ‘HORYZN.’ The BigRep PRO gives start‐ups the opportunity to break new ground and find answers to some of the most pressing questions of today. Dr. Sven Thate, Managing Director of BigRep explains: “Product and development cycles are getting shorter and shorter. At the same time, products are becoming increasingly agile, continually improving, and being made ready for the market thanks to fast iterations. Our large‐format solutions for additive production offer the flexibility to print prototypes and molds, e.g. for manufacturing carbon fiber-reinforced parts, as well as production tools and small series for market launch.” The BigRep PRO offers a variety of automated functions for easy, fast, and high‐quality production of large plastic parts, both with bio‐based and fiber‐reinforced materials.
MakerSpace provides start‐ups and inventors with a professional infrastructure to turn their own ideas into prototypes in a short time frame. Florian Küster, managing director at MakerSpace GmbH from Un‐ ternehmerTUM says: “The facilities save teams time and money in development, which reduces the risks for new start‐ups. Koehler successfully supports our innovations ecosystem and, with the BigRep PRO, we are particularly pleased with the latest addition to large‐format 3D printing in our machine pool.”
On December 16, the 3D printer was officially handed over to MakerSpace for a year with representatives of all parties in attendance.