Claudius Grabner

3d printer, 3d printing, 3d-3311587.jpg

3D Printing: A Quick Guide by KREATIZE

3D printing is experiencing a boom, and it is a manufacturing term you’ve probably stumbled upon before. But what is 3D printing actually, and how does it relate to KREATIZE? We interviewed two KREATORS who are deeply familiar with this technology to provide you with a simple overview. 

Subtractive & Additive Manufacturing Where Does 3D Printing Fit?

Before we get into 3D printing, it is important to know that in manufacturing, there are both subtractive and additive processes. 

The difference between these two can be most easily understood by looking at their math roots (e.g – and +). Subtractive being the process of shaping a specific object/material (e.g. block, rod, metal) through a process of removal that involves cutting, grinding or drilling to manufacture a part.  

Subtractive manufacturing is the process of shaping a specific object or material through the process of removal.

Subtractive manufacturing can be done manually, or more commonly by computer numerical control (CNC). Under this umbrella term, there are various types of manufacturing processes, such as CNC milling, turning, waterjet cutting and laser cutting. 

Additive manufacturing, in contrast to subtractive, makes use of CNC tools to build objects by adding material layer by layer, with every layer bonding to the previous set layer until a part is complete. Stereolithography (SLA) , Selective laser sintering (SLS) Fused deposition modeling (FDM) Material jetting, Binder jetting, Selective laser melting (SLM), Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS),and Electron beam melting (EBM) are examples of additive processes. 

Additive manufacturing builds objects by adding material layer by layer.

3D printing is synonymous to additive manufacturing, as the repeatability, precision and material range of 3D printing has expanded to a level where it is feasible for industrial-production. 

Is 3D Printing New To Manufacturing?

3D printing is often mistaken for a fad or relatively new invention, however this isn’t accurate. It may have only been noticed by the general public in the past decade or so, but has been used by designers and engineers since the 1980s. The first patent for the 3D printing process of Stereolithography was actually issued in 1986. 

The spike in popularity for 3D printing over the past decade is due to more accessibility, in part because of a substantial price decrease for 3D printing services, and companies developing “desktop” versions of what were before industrial-sized machines, coupled with an expanded service offering. 

As a result, 3D printing has created plenty of opportunities and fuelled  innovations in all kinds of industries. Not only do more traditional branches such as aerospace, the automotive industry and the medical and dental industry rely on it, but also more trend sensitive industries like fashion, architecture and food industry industries. 

The medical industry is one of the industries making use of 3D printing to treat patients.

Mike Rekus from our HQ in Berlin and Karol Halas from our office in Wroclaw pulled the curtain on this technology, and provided us with insights on everything related to 3D printing.  

3D Printing – Our KREATORS Explain 

As stated before, 3D printing is a term which refers to a group of processes, which, opposed to conventional procedures such as milling or turning, create parts by adding material, rather than removing it (e.g subtractive). This technology allows engineers to manufacture prototypes at early development stages with far less resources, which in return produces far less waste. 

“Simply put, it is an Additive Technology, as it adds the material layer by layer, thus creating the desired shape from scratch,” explained Halas, who is  a mechanical engineering manager at KREATIZE.

“It’s important to note, that during the additive layering, multiple physical and chemical processes take place”, said Rekus, who works as a  success  engineer at KREATIZE.

3D printing is an additive technology.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolitography and Selective Laser Sintering are a few of the multiple processes which fall into the category of 3D printing. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is a popular process, and one of the most emblematic as far as how it works. 

“Material in the form of a filament (long thermoplastic fiber) is transported constantly to a numerically controlled nozzle, where it is heated up, plastifies and then deposited on top of the previous layer, where it cools down and solidifies back,” explained Halas. 

After printing the 2D layer, the nozzle moves up and then prints another layer on top, which is repeated until the desired 3 dimensional part is created. 

“Of course that’s just a simplified example – different processes involve lasers, UV light and different materials”, added Halas.  

Why is 3D Printing Such A Game Changer?

It is a manufacturing process that is bringing many advantages to builders. It gives creators more room to innovate and provides more agility for product development when compared to other conventional methods. 

“One of the most important advantages of 3D printing is the freedom of design.  As opposed to traditional methods, in which assembly requires multiple steps, it allows for construction and printing in a single step,” said Mike Rekus, who works as success engineer for KREATIZE. Further adding that 3D-printing works with polymers, which are easy to handle. Additionally it lessens the weight of hardware parts, which is a factor of growing importance in fields such as in aerospace and automotive industries. 

Of course, there are many other important advantages of 3D printing. One of these is that it makes the individual development stages for manufacturing parts much easier

“Nowadays it is really important, especially for early part development stages, because it lets engineers get the first physical form of their design with more ease,” said Halas. “The prototyping costs are dramatically lower than for parts which are manufactured with conventional processes, when compared to 3D printing, ” he concluded. 

It allows parts to be redesigned, printed and tested without  having to use rigid technological processes. Additionally, setting up a machine suitable for 3D printing is much faster, as they do not require any special tools, when compared to other industrial machines used for conventional processes. 

3D Printing = Limitless Possibilities 

As mentioned before, 3D printing is being used by more and more sectors. This is partially because of the limitless possibilities that it provides. The medical sector, for example, relies on it to manufacture hearing aids, implants, and personalised prosthetics. The aerospace and the automotive industry use it to manufacture innovative parts, and prototyping. 

Design flexibility is a key benefit of 3D printing.

“With 3D printing almost everything is possible – from simple parts to structures that would not be possible with regular technologies,” said Halas. “The range in which 3D printing is used is really wide – the only limitation here is the designer’s imagination. You can print both highly functional prototypes of very sophisticated machine parts, as well as art, figurines, daily-use products and much more”, said Halas.  

How is 3D printing relevant to KREATIZE?

“It is an important manufacturing process for KREATIZE, as it is a process that helps us deliver on our slogan: Manufacturing the world loves,” said Halas. “ It enables our customers to create better designs and lets them explore different areas for their projects.”  

KREATIZE often provides advice to hardware startups and  established companies on ways that they can bring their products to the market with more efficiency. In the case of startups, many often  do not have the resources to deal with manufacturing themselves. 3D printing can be a good solution for the production of prototypes in a cost-efficient and fast manner, which is advantageous for both startups and established companies wishing to speed up their product development processes. However, this cost advantage can be a real game changer for hardware startups. 

“We recommend it to startups as it helps them make their products market ready quickly, without having to rely on economic resources and having to deal with manufacturing themselves”, said Rekus. 

How does KREATIZE give other companies access to 3D printing? 

One of the ways 3D printing has become more accessible is through cloud manufacturing. The plug-and-play solution that KREATIZE offers businesses who seek on-demand manufacturing services for their custom parts.  

“Our customers are given access to our large and diverse cloud manufacturing network’s machines,” explained Halas, which includes several world-class 3D printing providers. 

3D printed KREATIZE Logo at our Berlin HQ.

With over 200 vetted partners offering their services in KREATIZE’s cloud, customers can benefit from a wide range of services, such as the latest 3D printing technologies. 

“The engineers and customers working with our plattform can select the desired manufacturing process, get advice from us and can request a custom part which is suitable for 3D printing,” said Rekus. “  We can then start the analysis to see how long the part would take to print and how much it will cost to manufacture. It is a very simple process.”

Bottom line: 3D printing is a steadily growing seamless manufacturing process and cost efficient way of creating custom parts. By using KREATIZE’s cloud manufacturing services your company can easily access the endless possibilities of 3D printing.

Do you want to know more about cloud manufacturing? Download our whitepaper to find out everything about this game changing technology today.  

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Why KREATIZE? – Interview with Carlo Schmid

Our former working student Carlo Schmid was kind enough to stop by our Berlin HQ to give us an interview about his time with KREATIZE. Find out what he learned while working for KREATIZE and how this benefited him in regards to future projects, such as Second Ride, in our video, and short article. 

Back in the summer of 2018, Carlo Schmid was looking for a job in mechanical engineering and wanted to experience the startup environment, which is why he applied for the open position as a working student here at KREATIZE. Back when he worked  in our operations team, KREATIZE only had around 20 employees and was stationed at a smaller office. 

“It was quite fascinating to see this development”, explains Schmid. “It was a very cool and agile work environment to be in.  By being in a company that grows this quickly you can learn alot by jumping around different tasks. I was really impressed with how fast I gained responsibility, even as a student, and this is not something you see at many companies.”

Schmid learned many valuable experiences during his time at KREATIZE, and was particularly impressed by our vision of fully digitizing the procurement process.  He was fascinated by how our IT department made all the processes, and cost calculations extremely efficient. Further explaining  that due to looking at multiple technical drawings and calculating the prices of custom parts, he now has a good grasp of determining manufacturing costs. 

“By far my biggest learning was to get a sense of how much a custom part will cost. Because that’s really not trivial. To see a part that has never been manufactured before and tell whether it will cost 500 euros or 50 euros,” confessed Schmidt. 

As mentioned earlier, Schmid doesn’t work any more for us, but he has a pretty cool project in which we had a hand in helping him realize it. After his job at KREATIZE Schmid thought a lot about traffic transitions and the problems of manufacturing electric vehicles.  This is why in early 2020 he started a second-hand mobility project at TUB, which investigated the feasibility of turning regular vehicles into electric ones at a high scale. For 3 semesters he worked together with 15 students on a toolkit, which allows any customer to easily convert their Simson motorcycle into an electric one. 

“It’s easier than assembling an Ikea shelf”, said Schmid. 

 How did we at KREATIZE help with this project?

“We needed custom manufacturing parts for the development of these toolkits. I approached KREATIZE  and was really impressed by the amount of support they offered us. We got a sponsorship which financed our prototype. I am really thankful for all the support i received after my KREATIZE career as an alum,” explained Schmid

While the university project is currently over, Schmid is now in the position to fund his own company, which sells the aforementioned conversion kits. In fact the project recently won the CESAR Competition Best Idea 2021 with a prize of 20,000€. 

We are happy to have Schmidt as our alum and wish him and his project the best for the future!

Are you someone with a desire to work to start their career in a place where entrepreneurial skills are learned?  Perhaps you’re an experienced professional looking to strengthen your overall business, product, tech, strategy or engineering acumen? We are hiring for lots of roles, so please check out our careers section today if you are looking for a one of a kind opportunity that will allow you to grow professionally by stretching your overall professional toolkit. 

To find out more about Second-Ride, check out their website here.

KREATIZE: The Story Behind Our Name

KREATIZE, that’s a name that’s inevitable when working with us or learning about our company, because well that’s our name! But what does this name actually mean? How does it align with our company? What’s the story behind KREATIZE? And who came up with it? That’s something you’re gonna find out in this article!

Our Co-Founders Simon Tuechelmann and Daniel Garcia Rodriguez sat down with Claudius Grabner of KREATIZE’s marketing team to share the story behind our unique name. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how our company got its one of a kind name: KREATIZE. 

Claudius Grabner (CG): The name KREATIZE can be found everywhere here at our company HQ in Berlin and offices in Balingen, and Wroclaw, but where does it actually come from?

“It’s a combination of the two words ”Create”  and ”Realize”  and are in reference to manufacturing. They stand for transparent, reliable and high quality manufacturing,” explained Daniel, CTO at KREATIZE. 

“A product needs to be created, which means there has to be a design which then evolves into a prototype, additionally you have to think about how you can improve it. After all these steps the product can be finally realized,” added Simon , CEO at KREATIZE “Additionally it stands for the way we grant access to plenty of manufacturing companies that help create the world’s best Hardware products.” 

CG: That’s really interesting, could you tell us how Create + Realize are relevant to the concept of Cloud manufacturing?

“We believe that Cloud Manufacturing will bring forth a completely new form of hardware companies,” said Simon.  

“It allows hardware companies to create superior parts, despite them having no huge supplier network and far less capital, than most others,” said Daniel . “We believe that in the future parts won’t need to be procured anymore, and will be created and realized in a seamless way”

Our KREATIZE neon sign is a landmark at our Berlin HQ.

CG: Our mission is “manufacturing the world loves”, does the name KREATIZE align with this mission? If yes, how?

“When we talk about manufacturing the world loves, we talk about manufacturing that is sustainable, approachable and easy. One of the biggest bottlenecks of manufacturing is procurement and when we simplify manufacturing through cloud manufacturing, we remove the bottlenecks and create a more sustainable, cost effective and agile manufacturing, which is manufacturing the world loves,” said Daniel. 

“One must have in mind that the slogan and our name were conceived independently from each other, however manufacturing the world loves does align with both creating and realizing. Regarding creation, we want to make sure that every stakeholder from a company should love this new process of manufacturing, starting with the creation of the product and then flowing into its realization,” further added Simon.

CG: That’s really interesting, thank you! How did you guys come up with the name? Like is there a specific story or scene that you still remember? Also was it a sudden revelation or did you plan this specific name for a long time?

Daniel laughed and confessed that it was not him who authored the name. “Simon came up with it, already way back in the past. I think it must’ve been sometime around December 2015 or so,”  said Garcia Rodriguez. 

KREATIZE is a combination of create and realize. The story of this name is a in a way a microcosm of this fun 3D printed sign, which was created and realized.

CG: Simon , how did you come up with this name? Do you remember the specific scene? What is the KREATIZE story?

“Oh yes, that was quite some time ago,” said Simon. “I already had the name when I first talked to Daniel about our business idea. I came up with the name KREATIZE when I was still the director of tsf Tübinger Stahlfeinguss GmbH & Co.KG, which was the former company I managed,” said Simon. 

“I was in my office, standing in front of my whiteboard and thinking about all sorts of possible names that could relate to Cloud Manufacturing in some way. I took some time to think about what Cloud Manufacturing is at its core, and arrived at creating and realizing. So I combined these terms which resulted in KREATIZE,” continued Simon.

Funnily enough though, KREATIZE was supposed to be a ‘working title’, but we all liked it so much that we ended up using it,” confessed Simon. 

CG: If I may ask, do you remember any alternate names or anything similar? Or was KREATIZE the first real name you had in mind?

“I can’t really think of any alternate names,” Simon said. 

“Me neither, but there were different variations of spelling and  pronunciation of KREATIZE actually”, said Daniel. “We considered pronouncing it in a more German way, such as KREH-AH-TEE-ZE instead of the current English pronunciation.” 

KREATIZE is everywhere in our offices. Especially on our walls and shared work areas.

CG: Talking about spelling, I have one last question, since KREATIZE is a combination of “create” and “realize” and the former starts with a “C” why does KREATIZE start with the letter “K”?

“The K is supposed to make the word look German” said Simon, “The K is not only our striking feature, but it’s also supposed to showcase that KREATIZE is in fact a German company, and not a company from the Anglosphere”

Want to know more about KREATIZE and what its mission is? Read our article “Manufacturing The World Loves” by Simon Tuechelmann.

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KREATIZE wins Challenge Award

We are super proud to announce that we have won the Deloitte challenge award in the category “Future of Manufacturing” for our development and innovation in Cloud Manufacturing! 

This fantastic news was announced on 11/18 during Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Award ceremony. This annual event honors the fastest growing technology companies from various sectors.

We are convinced: we are just at the beginning of what will become a completely new category! 

We believe that Cloud manufacturing is to hardware companies what cloud computing is to software companies.

A great achievement and credit to all our KREATORS! 

We’re not done yet! Join us on our journey!

If you want to to be part in changing the future of manufacturing, why don’t you join us on our journey?

Apply today!

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