3d printers

Bosch buys two SLM Solutions SLM500 metal 3D printers – 3DPrint.com

Bosch bought two SLM500 Metal powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printers from SLM Solutions. One will be used at the company’s 3D-MPC manufacturing and processing center to manufacture powertrain components, parts of “custom aluminum parts for hydrogen technology and electric propulsion.” Apparently the other can be used for parts for the company’s 3DPSPACE startup.

Image inside a Bosch ceramic 3D printer. (Source: Bosch Advanced Ceramics)

“We are beyond excited to partner with Bosch, a true technology powerhouse. They understand the revolutionary potential of additive manufacturing and trust the power and reliability of SLM Solutions systems. We are truly excited to help Bosch accelerate the implementation of additive solutions across its product and solution portfolio,” said Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions.

“High OEE, resilient machine design and our good quality processes are the keys to AM production,” said Dr. Christina Bluemel, NuP1 3DP Manufacturing and Processing Center Manager at Bosch.

Bosch investments in 3D printing

Previously in AM, Bosch built a ceramic microreactor, set up a ceramic 3D printing service and invested in composites company Arris. Let’s not forget that Bosch also markets a 3D printer under its Dremel brand. I love Bosch – seriously, I love the company. It’s a $93 billion tech juggernaut that’s underappreciated as it employs more than 400,000 people to make numerous automotive components, e-bike batteries, CCTV cameras, cordless drills thread, Gaggenau ovens, etc. The company is also perfectly positioned to take advantage of 3D printing.

Bosch’s Rexroth division specializes in motion control, manufacturing some of the best steppers and linear rails in the industry. Its industrial hydraulics business could make extensive use of 3D printing to create more efficient parts with less mass. The company could also make extensive use of 3D printing for its IoT and sensors business. Bosch could produce lighter transmissions and better batteries. The internal volume of its prototyping and bridge fabrication operations must also be immense. I find it hard to think of companies that could earn as much as Bosch by deploying 3D printing widely in-house. I also don’t see any industries outside of satellites, space, and aviation that can earn that much by using 3D printing to improve their products.

Do you know those super cute little hand sanders made by Bosch? The manufacturer also offers slightly larger industrial versions.

A big win for SLM solutions

This is a big win for SLM Solutions, especially since, if I remember correctly, Bosch was running Concept Laser machines at the 3D-MPC manufacturing and processing center. However, this company alone could buy SLM Solutions. Bosch is aggressive in R&D, developing new products and expanding into new areas. He’s not known for corporate adventurism or many stupid missteps.

It can be expected that Bosch will not be very splashy with his money or his business development. However, behind this conservatism and willingness to forego media opportunities lies a relentless enterprise. Imagine an engineering challenge is like a tree. Bosch will put 100 people on it for a decade to solve this challenge, just sanding until the shaft is toothpicked and dusty. Tirelessly. So it’s a good deal for SLM Solutions, not just for now, but for the many other machines the company may acquire in the future.