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Young entrepreneur takes off with 3D printing

Lasse Petersen is only 25 years old, is studying mechanical engineering in Flensburg and has already created his own professional existence – with a high-tech company at Rudolf-Diesel-Straße 12, Leck. With his 3D-Nord GmbH, he offers companies 3D printing services, from product development and prototypes to small series of up to a few thousand units. “We design and print with more than 30 materials – from plastic to metal,” says Lasse. There are 36 printers in long rows at the plant. Together with his colleague Tobias Josten, he received invited guests, mainly business partners, on June 14. Dr. Matthias Hüppauff and Jan-Christian Mahrt also took a look and were guided by Lasse past the numerous 3D printers and given exciting background information about the company. On the following day, anyone from the public who wanted to find out about the many possibilities of 3D printing and the company’s innovative concept was invited.

3D-Nord has found a focal point in the area of camping vehicles, through Europe-wide contacts with most of the commercial fitters of campers, motorhomes and caravans. The company is currently preparing to enter the American market in the fall, where the products from Leck have already caused a sensation at a camping trade fair.

Lasse is a camper himself, so he started tinkering and designing for himself. 3D-Nord is now also listed as a dealer for 3D printers and accessories. Petersen and Josten want to present these in a showroom that is currently being planned, to anyone who is interested. There is also a so-called Maker Space, where anyone can print their own parts after a briefing. “We bring visions into shape,” says Lasse Petersen to this versatile concept that the two want to pursue in terms of 3D printing.

He had already come into contact with 3D printing during his studies in 2018 and quickly recognized the potential of this technology. His parents gave him his first printer, after which he built a Sprinter himself and developed his first prototypes. As part of the university’s own study on the subject of metal 3D printing, contact was made with the chemical company BASF, which is now one of 3D-Nord’s most important customers.

To set up his company, Petersen took advantage of the start-up support offered to all founders by the district of North Friesland in cooperation with the Economic Development Agency and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. From 2020 to 2023, he picked up tips at the business start-up days at the North Frisian Innovation Center (NIC) in Niebüll. In 2023, his company came third in the Gründungscamp Nordfriesland, a free start-up support program with an ideas competition, and won 1,000 euros in prize money.

And at the NIC this spring, he told men and women with their own business ideas how he succeeded in setting up his company and encouraged them to do the same. “I am also prepared to support the WFG in the future as part of its start-up support program, because the added value for the region is important to me,” says the young entrepreneur.

He draws his confidence in being able to grow with the business from the following consideration: In today’s world, companies are increasingly reliant on 3D printing to remain competitive. However, the

In-house operation often causes difficulties. The shortage of skilled workers in trade and crafts means that companies are no longer able to carry out 3D printing efficiently in-house. For example, specialist knowledge of design and programming is required. This is where 3D-Nord comes into play: “We offer all the necessary services and expertise to master these challenges. This is why companies are increasingly outsourcing their 3D printing tasks to us in order to optimize their processes and avoid bottlenecks.”

Finally, Lasse Petersen and Tobias Josten explain how they came to work together. Both play American football for the Nordfriesland Seals. And they already shared their experiences with the topic of and quickly found a common business strategy.

The start-up support provided by the district of Nordfriesland, the Economic Development Agency and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce is made up of several components. There are vouchers for start-up advice, targeted business start-up advice at the NIC in Niebüll, among others, and above all the start-up camp, in which Lasse Petersen won 3rd prize last year. In addition, the district will once again subsidize start-ups, product developments and market launches in 2024 with between 1,000 and 7,500 euros per company from the business-related development fund – the application deadline for this is June 30. Further information can be found here.