Miele and Replique Partner to Provide On-Demand 3D Printing

Miele’s 3D-printed accessories will be available for on-demand 3D printing via Replique’s digital inventory.

Miele’s 3D4U accessories. (Image courtesy of Miele.)

Miele’s 3D4U accessories. (Image courtesy of Miele.)

Additive manufacturing start-up, Replique recently announced that it is partnering with German home appliance manufacturer Miele. Replique has received exclusive rights to produce and ship Miele’s 3D-printed accessory products via the company’s decentralized production network. Similarly, Miele will be leveraging Replique’s extensive on-demand 3D printing parts network to launch future products. This will enable the manufacturing company to make its accessories available to customers quicker.

In May 2020, Miele launched its 3D4U project, which offers free designs of 3D-printable accessories for customers who don’t access to 3D printers. The partnership with Replique will work toward scaling the business model without the need to store part accessories in physical warehouses. The designs will instead be logged into the company’s digital additive manufacturing inventory. Replique’s on-demand 3D printing technologies will be responsible for producing parts when an order is placed.

Replique currently offers a digital end-to-end solution that will allow users such as Miele to take advantage of its unified platform, which links “ordering and e-commerce solutions, automatic order processing, and expert knowledge in industrial-grade 3D printing.” This means the company will be responsible for storing parts in its digital inventory, connecting existing ordering and sales channels to its platform, and fulfilling orders through its global 3D printing network. When connected, incoming orders are automatically forwarded to the appropriate manufacturing partner within the network. Replique’s network supports various advanced 3D printing techniques, including fused deposition modeling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), stereolithography (SLA), and more. 3D printing materials such as polymers, metals, and composites are also available.

Engineers provide additional support by supplying design and material knowledge as well as other services, including 3D spare part simulation, reverse engineering, and design optimization for additive manufacturing applications.

Replique’s system will help streamline the order process while allowing manufacturers to easily expand their businesses through its simplified digital integration process. This means they will have fewer fixed costs while enjoying the benefits of on-demand 3D printing. The Replique platform is also fully encrypted, guaranteeing secure digital transactions.

There are currently three Miele accessories that will be made available via Replique’s digital inventory: the 3D4U Miele Coffee Clip, the 3D4U Miele Borehole Cleaning Aid, and the Miele Turbo Cyclonic Dust Separator as vacuum cleaner attachments. According to Miele, Replique can meet the company’s quality standards. The coffee clip is reportedly undergoing certification for food contact through a manufacturing process in compliance with good manufacturing practice (GMP).

“Certifying processes in 3D printing is a complex topic that has yet to be really considered in the field of food approval. Working together with our partner Forward AM we are the first 3D printing solutions provider to implement a 3D printing process according to GMP and can therefore guarantee high process reliability,”, said Replique cofounder Max Siebert.

Miele’s manager of innovation management, David Buhl, noted that the partnership with Replique provides the company not only improved access to 3D printing processes but also material knowledge and quality assurance.

“So far, competing companies have only offered fragmented solutions. Replique is the only partner who has in-depth knowledge of the entire process and the right network to offer a turnkey solution. Their business model is scalable and we expect to expand our business in Germany, Europe, or even worldwide in a short period of time,” said Buhl.

Replique and Miele are already planning to expand the product range on the platform this year. For more information, visit https://replique.io/.