Siemens to invest £27m into UK 3D printing factory

Siemens is to invest £27m into a new 3D printing factory for Worcester based Materials Solutions, a move that will create 55 new jobs.

3D printed blades

Set to open in September 2018, the new building located at Worcester Six Business Park Development will enable the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) specialist to increase its fleet of 3D printing machines from 15 to 50 over the next five years.

The expansion of the business will take Materials Solutions’ team of engineers, metallurgists and manufacturing specialists to 80. The new facility will also be a focal point for collaboration between Materials Solutions and the UK Siemens Digital Factory division.

“This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector.  It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of 3D printing and demonstrates how we are leading the way for the fourth industrial revolution,” said Juergen Maier, Siemens UK CEO.

Maier recently led the Made Smarter review for Government on behalf of industry in the UK. The review, which forms part of the UK industrial strategy, called for greater national investment in additive manufacturing, arguing it will significantly boost industrial productivity and create new highly skilled jobs.

Phil Hatherley general manager of Materials Solutions, said: “Our Worcester-based team are specialists in using Additive Manufacturing technology to solve complex engineering challenges for our customers across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive and power generation.  Our new facility will give us the space and scope to continue to innovate for these specialist and demanding industries and achieve a shift in the perception of 3D printing from being a technology associated with prototyping to a viable option for the serial production of additively manufactured parts.”

Hatherley continued: “We were incredibly proud to have achieved a world first last year – the production of a successfully tested 3D printed gas turbine blade – and I believe our new factory will facilitate similar achievements.”

Founded in 2006, Materials Solutions is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature super alloys. Siemens acquired an 85 per cent stake in the company in 2016.