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Vogel Druck

The Customer

Founded in 1891, Vogel Druck und Medienservice GmbH has 350 employees and is one of the leading web offset and media service providers in Germany. The company is part of Bertelsmann Marketing Services, specializing in the production of magazines and catalogs.

The Challenge

The team noticed that their service provider was using Markforged® printers – and were impressed by the test parts they received.

Like many other sectors, the printing industry faces major challenges in the 21st century. Digitization and rising prices for paper and materials require increasingly cost-efficient working practices. Jörg Kuchenmeister, Managing Director of Vogel Druck, has witnessed numerous developments in the industry over the last 20 years, and the company has always responded by investing in innovation.

One challenge facing the industry as a whole is the huge cost of replacement parts for older machines, which can run into hundreds of thousands of euros. In order to reduce these enormous costs, Kuchenmeister explored the potential offered by 3D printing, and moved swiftly into additive manufacturing (AM) using a 3D printing service provider.

The company discovered they could use the 3D-printed components in their existing machines without any problems. But the process wasn’t dynamic enough for Kuchenmeister. He wanted to build up the know-how and expertise in his own company.

The Solution

Stefan Kemmer, Quality Assurance Lead, decided to take control of their machine part supply chain and purchased a Mark Two for the facility. Having taught himself how to design in CAD, together with the support of his team, the organization’s success story began to gain momentum.

The new Digital Forge of material, software and hardware made it easier to get off the ground and fully introduce the new innovation across the company. Any initial skepticism around the new technology was quickly dispelled when its added value became clear to the operating technicians.

Around three weeks after purchasing the Markforged Mark Two 3D printer, came its first real test. Shortly after the start of shift, a machine part failed. Production ground to a halt.

Delivery time for the spare part from their regular supplier was estimated at 6 – 8 weeks. So the operating technician reached out to Stefan Kemmer. He set to work to design the failed component in Fusion 360 and sent it to the printer. After just four hours, the operating technician had the freshly 3D-printed spare part in his hands. The new part was installed and the machine restarted – and all within the same shift. This successful resolution was swiftly followed by printed replacement parts for other machines and units that could be quickly installed without having to disassemble any machinery, minimizing disruption. Machine parts made of POM- material are particularly suitable, in addition to aluminum and steel parts, all designed and printed in very short time frames.

Use of the 3D printer continued to increase across the organization, with two areas supported by industrial 3D printing:

  • Machine spare parts

  • Improvements such as jigs or mounts

Pictured below are two spare parts of traditional printing machines. These are small parts but essential to keep the machines running. Previously, when these parts would break, the only option was to rely on third-party suppliers to manufacture custom parts. Now, these spare parts are easily replaced within a day’s notice.

Numerous machine parts can now be easily replaced at Vogel Druck. For example, it’s common for a machine ‘finger’ to break, which would normally cost around €450 to replace. The printed finger cost is only €3.50. With around 30 to 40 finger replacements required per year, around €20,000 was saved in a relatively short time space of time. As a result of this high-capacity use, the company invested in an additional Markforged Mark Two. Pictured above is a “finger” on an industrial printing machine that holds down recently printed booklets.


All cost savings from working with the Mark Two have been monitored and documented – and proudly dubbed by Kuchenmeister as the ‘celebration list’. The advent of 3D printing has always been an exciting technological advance and Vogel Druck’s experience demonstrates the real added value this innovation can bring. Vogel Druck has progressed from replacing more than just minor parts to realizing major cost benefits, with both Mark Two printers achieving savings of around €82,000 after just nine months.

Another benefit of 3D printing is the option to create spare parts that are often difficult to obtain or even obsolete. A printed part means machine running times can be extended or aggregates put back into operation more quickly. With additive manufacturing of spare parts and tools, mileages could be increased by up to 20%, depending on the product, through machine optimization. Savings of more than 90% on spare parts and faster set-up times bring further significant added value for Vogel Druck.

  • 20% more mileage

  • Over 90% savings

  • Faster set-up and response times

  • Independence

  • Savings of around €82,000 after nine months

There is no way around Markforged. This is the most coherent system on the market. We received a complete solution in the field of 3D printing. We can fully focus on our core business and use the added value of the technology."

The Future

Looking to the future, Vogel Druck will continue to utilize their Mark Two printers, with further components listed for 3D-printed substitution and even greater cost savings. As the company continues to grow and evolve, investment in another Markforged 3D printer will certainly be considered.

A US partner company has also already decided to invest in a Markforged 3D printer, taking the potential benefits of Markforged technology to a wider international audience, and encouraging shared experience and learning. Jörg Kuchenmeister and the team at Vogel Druck, are looking forward to an exciting period of growth and collaboration.

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