The Light-Touch Manufacturer

(Financial Times) Career profile of Hans Langer, founder of EOS which is now one of the world’s three biggest makers of 3D printers. Langer is a 61-year-old-scientist-turned entrepreneur. He has endured a series of patent disputes over the years and at one time was forced to cede control of his company before winning it back. Now he owns the company outright and believes EOS can increase annual revenues as much as fivefold by 2020.

Munich-headquartered EOS specializes in a sub-sector of 3D printing called “laser sintering”, which uses laser beams to fuse metal or plastic powder to make highly complex shapes. This prov­ides nearly all of EOS’s revenues. Mr Langer says 3D printing is a “disruptive” technology because it can make new products with better properties than existing ones, and which would be nearly impossible to make with existing processes. Lessening the weight of objects without also reducing performance is one of those crucial properties and is in­c­reasingly important in sectors ranging from orthopedics to car manufacturing