Send It! Our addictive story of 3D printing.

On a breezy evening on Maui, Hawaii in the late 90s as part of the North Sails test Squad we found ourselves at the Wunderbar, a perfect spot for dinner after an exhilarating day of windsurfing. As we sat together, discussing our research and testing of prototypes, we faced a unique challenge. We had valuable Rhino modelled 3D data on a new boom frontpiece design stored in our mobile workstation but were unsure how to create a prototype without returning to our studio in Germany.

In the midst of our deliberation, a stranger in a Neil Pryde shirt approached our table. "Apologies for eavesdropping," he said with intrigue, "but if you share your data with me, I can have it printed in polyamide immediately for testing."

Although initially hesitant about revealing our work publicly, curiosity got the better of us. To our surprise, this mysterious individual was not just an ordinary windsurfer on holiday, but the CEO of Alphaform Munich—a startup leveraging cutting-edge 3D printing systems provided by EOS Electro Optical Systems. While we were familiar with early 3D printing and Stereolithography techniques, the idea of printing pure polyamide with properties akin to industrial parts was groundbreaking for us as designers of tools and sporting goods.

The prospect suddenly dawned upon us - we could remain in Hawaii indefinitely while these machines handled all the printing and prototypes got shipped via FedEx to every location on earth within a week?! CaboVerde Design Studios calling. Log me in! After an evening filled with discussions about the far future of 3D printing, we handed over our first set of data on a humble USB stick. "Send it - and lets's see!" we exclaimed eagerly.

A week later in Munich for Ispo, fresh off the plane from Hawaii, we found ourselves directed south to Krailling—a quaint rural facility where EOS had its early beginnings. There, three rough-surfaced solid white prototypes awaited us—the very frontpieces that we had hoped to put into production. Astonishingly enough, one had already been expertly attached to a complete boom. It was clear that there were fellow surfers within this company too! We engaged in a meeting with the lead engineers, led by Thomas Matthes, gaining valuable insights into new technologies. During our time there, we were approached by Harry Dirrigl, the marketing chief at the time, who asked if we could contribute to enhancing their product design language coherence... Without hesitation, we agreed before he even finished his sentence. We understood that this was our chance to shape the future of our profession and turn it on its head. We had an opportunity to prove our ability to create relevant and forward-thinking designs.

Thus began our journey with EOS - the leading pioneers in future additive technology and our first and most prominent client in this field. Our collaboration spanned from the initial designs based on EOS M 250 metal frames (which we subsequently redesigned multiple times) to the groundbreaking systems like the iconic EOS Formiga. One of our proudest achievements was being instrumental in developing the gold-printing EOS M80—an investment goods design innovation featuring a solid one-piece casting for its entire casing. However, perhaps our crowning achievement is the industry-leading EOS P390-395 series with its elegant stainless steel open frame—an iconic design that is often used in newspapers as an epitome of 3D printing.

Architectural, leading edge, elegant and simple as the EOS systems all may appear, what truly sets these designs apart is the expertise we injected into every detail of ergonomics and aesthetics throughout the entire handling periphery - an aspect often overlooked. And let's not forget about our most recent contribution - the implementation of the newest iteration of EOS's design language: an industrial-sized metal printing system called EOS M400 equipped with four of the strongest lasers you can get, and a modular design, that is ingeniously build around an effective and groundbreaking fast material handling and transportation concept.

Throughout this partnership, we have honed a unique additive design language that distinguishes EOS systems from traditional subtractive industrial appliances. With meticulous attention to detail, we incorporated subtle cues in our designs to discourage easy copying while ensuring their ongoing relevance in terms of aesthetics. We boldly encouraged EOS engineers to envision systems that could partially replicate itself - a vision inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis film. An idea translated into reality, simply because we can! Moreover, since that fateful evening on Maui, we have integrated 3D printing into our design studio process from the very beginning, becoming additive design minds.

But before we could fully make our mark in additive manufacturing, there was one crucial test that awaited us. We skipped Ispo traveling to Lake Garda to put our new windsurf boom frontpiece, crafted entirely from pure PA11, through its paces in the cold howling north winds of an early morning session. And guess what? The "Progression" Boom worked flawlessly - in a whole new way that changed our profession.

In conclusion, our encounter with EOS and the subsequent journey through the world of additive manufacturing has been nothing short of extraordinary. We have pushed boundaries, embraced creativity, and humbly accepted the responsibility of shaping the future. It all began on a playful evening in Hawaii - a moment that led us down a path of curiosity, ambition, innovation and natural additive progression.


EOS Electro Optical Systems, Krailling


Project start: 2000Last Release: 2020


Ergonomic DefinitionProduct Design StrategyDesign & ModellingDesign Language & Systems StrategyCreative DirectionIdea XcelleratorProduct Design GuideDesign & Brand Manual3D Logo DesignDesign for 3D Print internal partsAdded Manufacturing of handles


2002Design release of the Eosint M 270 dmls metal system 2003Redesign of the Eosint P 380i, sls polymers system 2004Design release of the Eosint p 385 sls polymers system 2005Design release of the EOS Formiga P 100 sls polymer systemDesign release of the Eosint P 730 sls polymer system 2006Design release of the Eosint P 390 sls polymere  2009Design release of the Eosint P 760 sls polymer system, including material management systemDesign release of the Eosint P 395 sls polymer system  2010Company EOS Electro Optical System elected to “Bavaria's Best 50”Eosint M 280, second redesign edition dmls metal system 2011EOS company again voted “Bavaria's Best 50” innovative companies 2013Brand manual ‘corporate product design’ for EOS released.Company EOS Electro Optical System elected “Innovator of the Year”EOS M 290 dmls metal system redesign approvalEOS P 396 sls redesign release polymer system 2014Design release of the EOS M 400 dmls metals with surrounding material carrier- and handling systemDesign release of EOS M 080 dmls gold metal systems in cooperation with cookson gold, bremenThe company EOS expands strongly and moves its headquarters to the technology and customer center in Krailling 2015EOS and Additive Minds receive the "Game Changer Award" from manager magazine bain & company, category "Challengers"Design release of the EOS M 100 dmls metal system 2016Design release of the EOS P 770 sls polymer system.Design release of the EOS M 400-4 dmls metal system 2017EOS company now with more than 1000 employees.EOS P 396 awarded as best innovative system by ‘3d printer guide award’ from 3d hubs in the category "sls". 2018Design release EOS Formiga P 110 velocis sls polymer systemDesign release of the EOS P 810, based on the same "open frame" design architecture language EOS P 395 from tom ayton design