Stick by your print bed


One key challenge presented by 3D printing, especially if there is a small area of contact for a large print, is detachment from the print bed. Add to that the fact that each material requires different printing conditions. So, even on a large 3D printer like the BigRep ONE, which works equally well for all materials, our printing experts were always on the hunt for a first-layer adhesive solution that was solvent-free and environmentally friendly, not to mention easy to work with.

BigRep and R&D startup Thought3D (based in Valletta, Malta) recently announced a cooperation to bring a first-layer adhesive to large-scale build area FFF industrial 3D printers. So, we’re pleased to introduce Magigoo – a glue stick that increases printing reliability and maintenance convenience.


What began as a meeting and casual chat between some BigRep and Thought3D staff at IDTechEx in May, ended up in a cooperation to refine the Thought3D product and make it available for testing on large-scale prints at the BigRep Berlin office. Crucial to BigRep in using the adhesive has been the fact that it sticks and holds fast to the object when the print bed is hot, and releases when the print bed is cold.

“BigRep customers expect high-quality end products," said Moshe Aknin, Chief Technology Officer at BigRep. “Magigoo is a reliable product that helps our dependable workhorse printers to achieve great large-scale results.”

In one particular instance, BigRep was printing a section of its creative team’s bionic propeller design on The ONE printer. Given the propeller model’s area of contact was rather small, the BigRep team needed Magigoo on the print bed to aid in printing the large part’s challenging geometry. Moreover, the object’s overhangs and sharp details could have led to object detachment, but with the Magigoo adhesive, BigRep was able to successfully print several sections of the model for prototyping.


“We enjoyed working with BigRep to extend our product range for large format 3D printers and we are glad to provide a product that meets the high demands of industrial clients,” said Dr Keith M Azzopardi, Co-Founder and R&D Lead at Thought3D. “We hope to continue this collaboration with BigRep. Magigoo’s development road map is underway. We are expanding our product portfolio to include an even wider spectrum of smart adhesives targeting engineering materials.”

You can read more about the Magigoo’s glue stick on their website, or on and 3D Printing Media Network, where the announcement was also covered.

Will metal plating unlock new industrial applications for large-scale 3D printing?

After metal plating, the same Plastic 3D Printed Part has a number of improved properties.


When thinking about how large-scale 3D printer technology can add value to industrial design and manufacturing processes, there are two main technologies to consider – additive manufacturing with advanced polymers, and metal 3D printer technology. In both cases, the new technology by replacing a traditional manufacturing method digitizes the process and because of that saves time, reduces costs and increases design freedom.

In recent years, more engineering-grade materials have become available for use with plastic 3D printers and these offer a good solution for metal replacement applications, including for end-use parts. But what if you could combine the advantages of plastic and metal together in one solution? That is where metal plating of large 3D printed plastic parts comes in.


Metal plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of metal, usually Copper or Nickel, on an object made of a different material. This is done in order to improve one or more of the object’s properties, for example strength; thermal or electrical conductivity; chemical or heat resistance. The result – a hybrid product and a new set of potential solutions for metal replacement applications.

Before and After Shots of a 3D Printed Component plated in Copper. Metal printing

Our experts with +25,000 hours of experience in industrial 3D printing are waiting to sink their teeth into your unique and challenging use case.


Metal-plating could enable the introduction of cost-effective hybrid products in heavy industries such as Defense, Electronics & Medical Devices. We can imagine products with the following properties provided by the metal layer:

  • EMI/RFI Shielding
  • Electrical Conductivity (Plastic antennas, Wave-Guide)
  • Barrier Characteristics (offering protection from humidity, chemicals, fumes…)
  • Enhancing Mechanical Properties – over the original plastic parta design flexibility
  • ESD Protection
Before and After Shots of a 3D Printed Component plated in Copper
3D printed component before and after copper plating


Over the past few years a range of 3D printed parts have been successfully metal-plated. Mostly these have been small and medium-sized parts. What would be the advantages of plating large 3D printed parts?

One of the barriers of producing large parts, in prototyping or end-use manufacture, is production cost. BigRep 3D printers allow one to affordably print large parts, up to 1 cubic meter in size. Adding a metal-plating option for such prints gives us a new way to produce large hybrid products which is suitable for advanced applications and at the same time implies cost reductions over solid metal production.


Currently BigRep and Polymertal - a global leader in metal plating solutions - together with a large Israeli defense company, are testing a unique large metal-plated part which was printed on a BigRep ONE. Up to now this part has been manufactured out of aluminum in a manual short-series production process.

In the coming weeks the 3D-printed version of this end-use part will be assembled and tested on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Success in testing would mean the defense company has a new option of preforming a fully functional test of such parts which allows for faster design and testing cycles before moving on with manufacturing.

When the companies share their test results, expected in around a month, we will also have a better indication of just how big the potential is for metal-plated 3D-printed parts to replace traditionally made large metal parts.

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently.


With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

Reflections on 2017 – BigRep’s emerging global position in the Industrial Additive Manufacturing space – MADE IN GERMANY!

BigRep STUDIO, compact industrial 3D printer


BigRep’s 3rd full year in business has been one of big strides forward across the board. From doubling sales, to exciting new products and collaborations, to increasing confidence about the position we have carved out for ourselves in a fast-growing 3D printing industry, it has been a great 2017.

The backbone of our business is our resource base and in this respect, we have seen significant changes. We were pleased to announce key new investments this year from Klöckner & Co and Körber. We also made some important appointments, including those of Moshe Aknin and Frank Marangell who each have CVs bulging with world-class 3D printing industry experience.

As President of BigRep America, Frank Marangell’s arrival signalled the opening of our US office. We have wasted no time in developing a strong US team and our engagement with this crucial market kicked off with a presence at signature additive manufacturing shows AMUG in Chicago and Rapid + TCT in Pittsburgh. In a similar vein, this year we continued to grow our network of resellers, so that we can now say BigRep is a company with a global reach to match our technological ambition.


The development of that underpinning technology continues apace. This year we have been busily shipping our new BigRep STUDIO machines, as well as introducing new specialist 3D printer filaments and 3D printer software solutions. But we do not just sell machines and materials. The value we can add through hands-on work with clients to tackle big additive manufacturing challenges in their specific use cases became very clear this year. Our research and innovation hub NOWlab drives this work forward. NOWlab is playing a central role in our ground-breaking end-use parts manufacturing project with Deutsche Bahn, as well as numerous projects in other industries.

BigRep’s experts are waiting to sink their teeth into your unique and challenging use case.

Click here for more Info


The above activities are all part of BigRep’s maturation into a company with a clear and valuable role in the 3D printing industry. That transition requires that we work to our strengths and find industry-leading strategic partners with whom to work. For this reason, our production agreement with long-established German industrial firm Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG was an important piece of groundwork in establishing BigRep.



So, it has been a year of great progress for BigRep, in three key areas: the basic infrastructure to build industrial machines; our 3D printing product and service package and developing industry track record; and our growing strategic connections for the future. These developments have delivered us greater exposure and interest from a range of stakeholders and at different cross-industry events. The August visit to BigRep’s offices by Ramona Pop of the German Green Party was just one of many from potential clients and a wider audience enthused by industry 4.0. I was pleased to share a platform at bitkom’s September 3D Printing Summit with colleagues from Braunschweig University of Art and Audi to talk about our fantastic car seat project. Our work with Deutsche Bahn has created a buzz and led to my appearance with Managing Director of ‘Mobility goes Additive’ Stefanie Brickwede at CREATING URBAN TECH in October.

November’s formnext show, the high point in the year for the additive manufacturing industry, was our opportunity to assess how far we’ve come in 2017 and to further shape our vision for the future. The message I took from a supremely busy four days engaging with colleagues across industry is that we are moving in the right direction with our technology, with our research-oriented and tailored approach to clients, and with our strategic plan to build machines for industrial users. Looking forward to 2018, our mission will be to push ahead on these core aspects of our work. Our headline task within this is to apply BigRep’s 3D printing technology and NOWlab’s ingenuity to a new round of even more impressive end-use applications. For that we need professional clients willing to think big and trust in the research processes necessary to realize further breakthroughs in additive manufacturing technology.


René is the founder and CEO of BigRep GmbH, driving it to be one of the world-leading 3D printing companies, with his many years of experience in business development and innovative technologies.

Connect with René on Linkedin HERE.

Global industries are boarding the additive manufacturing train – in Berlin!

Deutsche Bahn 3D printed part


To say we’ve been focused on tapping new potential this year would be an understatement. Front of mind for BigRep has been work on exciting projects and partnerships to discover new end-use manufacturing applications for our advanced large-scale 3D printer technology.

In late October I had the pleasure of sharing a podium with Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) Stefanie Brickwede at the dynamic CREATING URBAN TECH conference in Berlin, to discuss the successful cooperation between BigRep and DB. We spoke on this again at formnext on 14th November in Frankfurt. BigRep is a member of Mobility goes Additive, a network which DB initiated to develop additive manufacturing solutions for the logistics and mobility sectors. We have been working together to explore how DB can use BigRep’s additive manufacturing technologies to further their business and improve efficiency.

DB and additive manufacturing
BigRep CEO René Gurka & Deutsche Bahn’s Stefanie Brickwede at CREATING URBAN TECH

We can highlight three key outcomes of the partnership to date. All three are typical of the benefits industrial organisations encounter when utilizing our technology.

Firstly, Deutsche Bahn has identified that 10-15% of their demand for spare parts could be met with 3D prints. This approach can reduce production time and costs, and facilitate a dramatic reduction in necessary spare parts inventory. They expect to 3D print an impressive 15,000 spare parts in 2018.

Secondly, they are finding potential to use additive manufacturing to develop new kinds of end-use products. This article describes one example, a new design for a printed part with braille on its surface.

Finally, DB believes that the development of new 3D printer materials will be the key to determining how much end-use manufacturing it can do in future with 3D printing technology.

This joint project we have with Deutsche Bahn illustrates the new value that comes when companies invest together in exploring how new techniques can be applied to existing and upcoming design challenges. It, as well as developments within Mobility goes Additive, also shows that Berlin is becoming a hub for innovative developments in the emerging additive manufacturing sector.

But the story, and especially that final point, also illustrates that we have choices to make. We have the option to pursue networking opportunities in this technology to their limits and develop the next generation of high value technologies. Or, if we pursue these opportunities less aggressively, other firms and other cities will get there first and reap the rewards.

additive manufacturing - 3d printing filament
Developing new 3D printer materials is a core aspect of BigRep’s development of new additive manufacturing applications

We are conscious of this choice when it comes to Deutsche Bahn and Mobility goes Additive, and will seek to sustain our close working relationship to develop new 3D printer materials, hardware and techniques to fully explore the potential for this cooperation. What I discussed at CREATING URBAN TECH, as well as at formnext in Frankfurt (on 14th November), is that we need to apply the same thinking to Berlin and its own potential in terms of additive manufacturing. I believe that to take ourselves from a promising hub to that central, world-leading position, we should formally nurture networking activities between businesses and other research organisations in the sector, for example, with a Centre of Excellence in Additive Manufacturing in Berlin. Can we 3D print that?

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently


René is the founder and CEO of BigRep GmbH, driving it to be one of the world-leading 3D printing companies, with his many years of experience in business development and innovative technologies.

Connect with René on Linkedin HERE.

Formnext 2017: what prospects for the industrial 3D printer sector?

Representatives from across industry meeting at the BigRep stand at Formnext 2017


Formnext 2017 was another great event for industrial 3D printer enthusiasts. More companies have joined the race to bring 3D print technology to maturity and we saw plenty of new products on offer. Overall, a clear message came across – that additive manufacturing is here to stay and will continue to dramatically change the way we design and manufacture products.

Before discussing which technology and/or company is most likely to lead the industrial 3D printer market in coming years, we will investigate two key areas – 3D print solutions for prototyping and for manufacturing.


Within this segment of the market affordable 3D printers for plastic prototyping are making headway. These are not necessarily cheap 3D printers, but machines which strike a lower-cost balance between functionality and price. In the past such machines had few features and competed mainly on price. At Formnext 2017 we saw more sophisticated machines which can be used for specific applications such as dental and other fit-form-function applications. This means that higher-cost machines dedicated to prototyping must offer unique features to be attractive. BigRep offers industry exactly this kind of added-value through its large-scale industrial 3D printers and growing range of specialist 3D printer filaments.

BigRep ONE 3d Printed Furniture Prototype at Formnext 2017
BigRep ONE 3D-printed furniture rapid prototype: large-scale & weight-bearing


3D printing for manufacturing can be divided into two areas – plastic and metal 3D printing. With plastic, advanced polymers can replace metal for certain applications in Medical, Aerospace and other industries. In such cases if superior mechanical properties and/or larger parts can be delivered we have a more attractive solution. If printing speeds increase, plastic 3D printing could also potentially replace injection molding in some manufacturing applications.

The second manufacturing area, metal 3D printing made a big splash at Formnext 2017. On the one hand the prices of some lower-spec machines seem to be falling, making metal 3D printers more accessible. At the same time, new heavy metal printers are aiming to deepen the automation and integration of 3D printing in manufacturing processes with a focus on quality, variety of materials and printing speed.

End-use spare parts produced for Deustche Bahn on display at Formnext 2017
At Formnext 2017 BigRep showcased end-use spare parts produced for Deustche Bahn


If we look at it from the industrial user’s side, before purchasing a 3D printer the following elements are usually considered:

  • The company behind the product – is it a short or long-term player?
  • Quality, accuracy & repeatability – the basics of effective additive manufacturing
  • Reliability & ease of use – for minimum hassle
  • Variety of materials - for a wide range of applications
  • ECO system - inclusion of a dedicated Software solution. This is particularly critical in the metal printing space
  • Printing speed – this must increase to increase productivity, especially in manufacturing
  • Reasonable cost per value – an essential requirement of the end user
Exploring with industry how 3D printing can bring it new value and competitive advantage


It depends on how you measure it, but no doubt a strong combination of a ‘new generation’ technology with a focus on printing speed and advanced materials, plentiful long-term funding, and a winning business strategy will be key success factors for any 3D printer company. Above all one factor will be most important – the people behind the company. Without a professional, experienced, and totally dedicated team driving it forward, any new amazing technology cannot make it. At Formnext 2018 we will see who and which technologies are making the best progress.

All parts below were printed with BigRep Large Scale 3D-Printing Technology


With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

Cutting up to 80% off Large Metal Part Production Time: Sand Casting Using Large-Scale 3D-Printing Solutions

Sand Casting


In our first two articles about large-scale 3D printing applications we covered Fit-Form-Function and Molds & Tooling. This time we will examine the benefits of integrating 3D printing into the Sand Casting process.

What is Sand Casting?

Sand Molded Casting, also known as Metal Casting, is a process by which a special mold from sand is created to form metal objects at very high temperatures. The technique is widely applied in heavy industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, Railway and Shipping as a solution for short-run production. Here’s how it works:


The Sand Casting Process

Sand Casting is a relatively simple process enabling manufacturers to produce metal objects. However, there are several challenges involved, including:

  • High costs
  • Manual labor required
  • Lengthy process duration
  • High margins of error
  • Limitations in producing complicated patterns

How can large-scale 3D printing help?

Traditionally, the replica is made manually using different materials types and techniques. The process is not 'digital’, meaning it takes longer to complete and can result in accuracy issues.
Integrating large-scale 3D printing into a sand casting process offers the following benefits, as compared to a standard sand casting process:

  • Reducing replica and pattern production time
  • Creating a highly accurate replica from a digital file
  • Significantly lowering costs
  • Replica design flexibility

These advantages are even greater when the pattern-making process is done in-house instead of being outsourced. Production time can be reduced by up to 80%, once the process is fully managed and controlled internally.

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently.


With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

Advanced Applications: Molds & Tooling – Large Scale 3D Printing


In the last article we discussed the use of large-scale 3d printing in design and concept modeling processes. It is now time to examine more advanced applications. As heavy industries look for ways to save costs by implementing 3D-Printing in short run production/manufacturing, we turn to the question of whether and how large-scale 3dp solutions can face this challenge.

"But large-scale FDM 3d-printing is not there yet," you might say. "How can one use this technology to produce end use parts?" Well, not only is it possible, but it also has the potential to solve unique challenges manufacturers are facing today with production of large objects.

All parts below were printed with the BigRep Large Scale 3D-Printing Technology


3d-printing provides developers and manufacturers with an efficient way to produce one or several custom design products. In the following example, a large mold was printed and was used as a lay-up tool for a composite structure to produce the final part. Here's an overview of the process:


Step 1 – Printing a large-scale mold


Step 2 – Coating & post-processing


Step 3 – Carbon fiber sheet coating


Step 4 – Resin injection (vacuum infusion)

Initial production was completed with injection of the resin into the mold. After post-processing and finishing it was installed on a racing car as a fully functional end use part:



  • Achieving higher accuracy compared to non-3D printing methods when working with wood and foam
  • Drastically shortening the production time of an end-use part
  • Making considerable cost savings compared with producing the same part with a CNC machine.


A fabricated forming mold to produce a new bus lighting panel design, using a similar process:


Step 1 – Printing a large-scale mold


Step 2 – Producing the end use part


  • Shortening production time by 50% compared to working with CNC
  • Costs lower than they would be using alternative techniques or other more expensive 3D printing technologies

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently.

The Benefits of Using Large-Scale 3D-Printing Solutions

Motorcycle body as a large-scale 3d printing solutions

One of the latest solutions to arise in the 3D printing industry is large-scale printing. Large 3D printers are mostly based on FDM technology and by their nature affordable, easy to use and to maintain. The most popular available material is PLA; easily accessible and with few printing challenges. Additional materials are available with better mechanical properties for more advanced applications.
Now comes the obvious question: who could enjoy the benefits of large-scale 3D printing and what are the benefits of using it?

All parts below were printed with BigRep Large Scale 3D-Printing Technology


Once size limitation is no longer a factor, large parts can be produced at very low cost to simulate large products. Post-processing will bring the final model closer to the original product, and some of printed elements can be used as an end-use product.


Bathtub after Post Processing


The Ocke Stool


Children's Room Lamp


  • Shortens the time from idea to a full-scale prototype, compared to alternative non-3D printing manual techniques (working with wood, foams, fiberglass)
  • Considerable costs saving
  • Freedom to design unique geometries and to create tailor made products.


Printing of one large full-scale part or several individual parts that are assembled to a prototype of a large product or device.


Driving Seat


MRI Machine


  • Produce a prototype of the final part/product to perform fit-testing with other parts, design verification and basic functional testing
  • Accelerating design and manufacturing processes
  • Save costs compare to alternative solutions

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently.


This is another example of an industry that traditionally produces models and objects in a manual process using different techniques. Using a large-scale 3D printer enables the creation of unique marketing and promotional elements.


3D printed sign


  • Traditionally all parts and models in this industry are made manually. Large-scale 3D printing dramatically reduces manual labor, saves time and costs compared to traditional processes
  • Offers freedom of creativity to design and produce customized products and elements

With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

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