With an installed base of nearly 3,500 industrial 3D printing systems, the German family-owned enterprise EOS is a leading supplier of systems for additive manufacturing (AM) solutions. When founding the company on April 24, 1989, Dr. Hans J. Langer had a clear vision: producing three-dimensional objects directly from CAD data using laser technology, for what was at the time, a new rapid prototyping market.
While the early phase of the enterprise was dominated by stereolithography technology, since 1997 EOS has concentrated exclusively on laser sintering. The powder-bed based process is particularly well suited to today’s rapidly growing market of series applications. This is true both in terms of quality and reproducibility and the speed and cost of part production.
EOS offered AM systems for processing both polymers and metals from an early stage, as well as the materials, processes, and software tailored to suit these systems for optimal results. To support companies in the use of AM technology, EOS founded its consulting unit Additive Minds in 2015. With over 300 successful customer projects, the more than 100 Additive Minds experts are among the most successful AM consultants globally.
EOS now has more than 1,200 employees worldwide, while the team around Dr. Langer originally consisted of just four people. EOS is family-owned and independent, with a defined set of values that form the basis of its corporate culture.
Shaping the future of manufacturing
The potential applications for 3D printing are practically unlimited as it is capable of producing flexible, light, and stable parts that only use as much raw material as needed to manufacture the product. EOS’ technology and know-how are used in a variety of industries and areas of life: Whether fuel-saving components in the aviation sector, spare parts on demand for buses and trains, or prostheses individually created to suit each patient.
The increasing use of AM in serial production scenarios is accompanied by the necessity to integrate this technology in existing production environments. The goal is to achieve a highly flexible production that optimally combines industrial 3D printing and conventional manufacturing technologies in a digital factory – a development that EOS is actively advancing.
According to Dr. Adrian Keppler, CEO of EOS: “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 optimizing AM production cells to leverage all the advantages and possibilities of digitalization.”
The EOS ecosystem
Established and expanded over many years by Dr. Langer, the EOS Ecosystem is a multi-layered network of EOS investments, the company AM Ventures, and external partners, that supports promising start-ups. The cooperation between the various companies combines expertise to enable the implementation of customer-specific manufacturing solutions along the entire value chain – from the initial idea to design and engineering, production, post-processing, and ultimately the finished part. For example, one field of application with a great deal of potential is the aerospace industry to enable further innovation in rocket engines.
Even after 30 years, EOS remains true to its mission statement: Shaping the future of manufacturing.