Mr. Protzmann, why did you choose Heraeus as an employer?
As someone just starting my career, at Heraeus I have the opportunity to explore the issues of tomorrow. The topic of 3D printing has always fascinated me. At Heraeus, the use of additive manufacturing with metals is already standard practice. For me, this means being surrounded by a wealth of experience. My colleagues support and challenge me in equal measure.
What fascinates you about 3D printing?
The additive process opens up entirely new possibilities for us engineers. Based on digital 3D design data, we can form complex components layer by layer. The results are impressive: In the aerospace industry, we are using improved parts that reduce weight and thereby lower jet fuel costs.
Heraeus has ambitious goals in the field of 3D printing…
We want to be the leader in 3D printing with high-melting-point metal powders from precious metal and special metal alloys. We are convinced that the material has a decisive influence on the properties of a printed object. Thanks to our long years of experience in the production of metal powders, matched by our understanding of additive manufacturing, we at Heraeus are the crucial link between idea and implementation.
Has your team already reached initial milestones?
Yes, indeed. Recently, at the Fraunhofer Institute in Augsburg, a satellite thruster nozzle was printed from a platinum-rhodium alloy – with our precious metal powder. The nozzle performed just as well in tests as a conventionally manufactured nozzle. This gives us fresh impetus, because just a few years ago nobody would have thought it possible.