While the early phase of EOS was dominated by stereolithography, since 1997 the company has concentrated exclusively on laser sintering. This move was a far-reaching decision at the time and, as it turned out, the right strategy. The powder-bed based laser sintering process is particularly well suited to today’s rapidly growing market of series applications, both in terms of quality and reproducibility, and the speed and cost of part production.
A further success factor was that EOS was able to offer additive manufacturing systems for processing both polymers and metals from an early stage, as well as the powder materials and software tailored to suit these systems.
In order to support companies even further in the use of additive manufacturing technology, EOS founded its consulting unit, Additive Minds, in 2015. With over 300 successful customer projects completed to date, the more than 100 Additive Minds experts are among the most successful AM consultants globally, reports the company. Projects range from fuel-saving components in the aerospace sector, through spare parts on-demand for buses and trains, to prostheses individually created to suit each patient.
While the team around Dr Langer originally consisted of just four people, EOS now has a total of more than 1,200 employees worldwide. Among modern company goals is the need to achieve highly flexible production that optimally combines industrial 3D printing and conventional manufacturing technologies in a digital factory – a development that EOS is actively advancing.
Dr Adrian Keppler, CEO of EOS, says: “The establishment of complete digital production platforms is a major goal that we are aiming to achieve in the coming years. It’s not just about providing the right 3D-printing solutions, but about evaluating, planning, setting-up and optimising AM production cells to leverage all the advantages and possibilities of digitalisation.”