Interview: Michael Wildemann, Project Manager Samaplast AG

Michael Wildemann is a graduate engineer for plastics processing. At Samaplast AG, he is the project manager for special projects. In this role, Mr. Wildemann is responsible for the introduction of additive manufacturing in the production of medical parts. He will be a speaker at the healthcare panel of 2018 In(3D)ustry.




Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

Michael: My first encounter with 3D printing was during my apprenticeship as a designer. It was in 1992 and at that time 3D printing parts were very expensive. My boss gave me a small part and said, be careful it cost 5’000 German Marks.  And I thought wow, at this time I earned 500 German Marks per month.


Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing?

Michael: As an engineer who has been working in the plastics industry for 20 years, I have just seen in recent years how 3D printing has developed. Formerly only prototypes were produced in 3D printing, now it is increasingly in the direction of small series and individualized products. Especially in the medical sector, this development is exciting. Here I see the trend that customer-specific parts can be made.


Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Michael: I like being an engineer and putting ideas in praxis.


Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?

Michael: With the previous manufacturing processes, the design was often limited. 3D printing gives you a lot more freedom in component design. The challenge is to rethink as a designer.


Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Michael: The processing of standard materials. In order to be an equal substitute for established manufacturing methods, it is important to be able to process the same materials.

Further challenges are time to market and certified processes.

Especially from this point of view, the Freeformer from Arburg is an interesting option to take these challenges. This machine combines the advantages of injection molding with those of 3D printing.

 Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?

Michael: Health, a long life, and another three wishes.

Seriously, maybe medically approved high-performance plastics like PEEK for the prototyping process.



Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? 

Michael: You never stop learning.


Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community (i.e. healthcare 3D printing and bio-fabrication), what message would that be?

Michael: The SAMAPLAST prototype process reduces costs and time to market.


Jenn: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing?

Michael: With the SAMAPLAST prototyping process and the purchasing of the ARBURG Freeformer, SAMAPLAST AG can support its customers in a more targeted way in the implementation of their project ideas and in the manufacture of serial-suitable medical products with the most modern technology and long-standing know how. And that from the first design idea up to the end-packaged “approved” medical product with batch sizes starting at one piece.


Jenny: What were/was the worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?

Michael: Until now, we have not made a bad investment in 3D printing yet.


Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?

Michael: I am singing as a bass in a gospel choir. It’s a good balance for my technical job.


Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?

Michael: “The last will be bitten by the dogs.” It means for me, don’t miss developments. Participate active in new trends.


Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you? =)

Michael: For me this is a new platform. But it is a very interesting one.