Birthday as printed

That’s how fast it goes when the idea is the right one: The company’s own start-up Protiq is not only now independent and very successful, but has also turned a proud five years old. Happy Birthday!

In 2016, the Rapid Solutions department of Phoenix Contact became an independent company. Dr. Ralf Gärtner is the founder and managing director of PROTIQ GmbH: “At that time, I saw the potential to bring our services to the market and thus also generate sales externally.” Today, more than 12,000 customers are registered on the Protiq Marketplace. On this online marketplace, they can upload 3D models, configure them and order them directly.

Dr. Ralf Gärtner

It’s not just the printing alone that’s fascinating, but also the speed with which Protiq launches innovations. Printing pure copper is almost old hat, but the team has now also mastered the printing of zinc, TPU and, more recently, even glass.

The own marketplace

Today, the team manufactures various prototypes, tools and individualized products in small quantities on around 20 machines. In addition to customers from industry, the customer base also includes a few private individuals. For the latter, Protiq has already produced spare parts for classic cars, dishwashers or washing machines, as well as model-making accessories, holders of all kinds or personalized gifts such as cookie cutters, money boxes or cups.

The online marketplace is a central element of the innovative high-end print shop. Almost 140 materials are available for selection on this Protiq Marketplace, as well as 17 different manufacturing processes. The special feature: Other suppliers from the industry are also represented on the online marketplace. “The platform idea was a fundamental requirement at Protiq. We never wanted to become the largest additive manufacturer, but always wanted to combine the digital business model with additive manufacturing,” says Dr. Ralf Gärtner.

You can be sure that Dr. Gärtner’s team is far from running out of breath when it comes to innovation. In addition to new additive manufacturing processes, Protiq is also thinking of other ways to further automate processes in order to help 3-D printing achieve even greater breakthrough power and open up new markets.


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