Danish SME will 3D-print new tools of worn out products

The Danish SME, Thürmer Tools, was selected by the EU initiative C-Voucher as one of the winning project proposals. Thürmer Tools’ proposal is to develop a circular approach to 3D-printed tools made of metal. The circular approach makes it possible to transform worn out tools into metal powder, which then can be used to produce new items. Thereby, the supply chain becomes sustainable.

Worn out tools become new.

“We have to try everything that may seem impossible. Two years ago, people laughed at us when we said, that we had an idea to create sustainable global production. Now we can see that this is the future.”

This is how Erick Thürmer, CEO of the Danish SME Thürmer Tools A/S, explains their idea, which the EU initiative C-Voucher declared as one of six winners among more than 90 companies that submitted project proposals for the application round in March 2020.

The MADE member specializes in manufacturing tools and threads and has the ambition to close the supply chain gap which means no material is wasted in the production of professional products. Specifically, Thürmer Tools will transform obsolete metal powder tools, which are then used as material in a metal 3D printer. Thus, 'old' powder becomes new products – for the benefit of both industry and society.

“I’m passionate about this project and we strive to have a circular economy in every aspect. Our goal is to produce, use and reuse. Therefore, it was a great gift to be appointed C-Voucher winner  and receive support in order to move on with a project that would normally be a little outside of our area,” says the clearly enthusiastic CEO.

Last year, Thürmer Tools imported 17 tons of tools that are thrown out by consumers after use. It is this pattern of use that they want to change in order for most of the material to be recycled.

"If we can help change the consumption patterns so that we can reuse tools and recycle parts of it, then it will be a huge step in the right direction," says Ingeborg Rosenvinge, Head of R&D at Thürmer Tools.

International cooperation

MADE is a partner in C-Voucher. With Technical University of Denmark – DTU and FORCE Technology as contributors, MADE has been responsible for defining and structuring which challenges the C-Voucher initiative can help solve. In addition, MADE represents the manufacturing sector with a purpose to present and promote issues, opportunities and solutions related to circular economics in the production area.

An important benchmark for future production

“When MADE participates in EU projects, MADE members have easy access to learn how they can participate in international projects as well. When Thürmer Tools, through C-Voucher, gets extra support to test and implement a circular and financially sustainable process, it can also benefit and inspire others in the industry,” says Merete Nørby, International Senior Consultant at MADE.

From the beginning, a part of the project's goal has been to promote local, sustainable production – and there is a growing awareness now that the pandemic has changed the everyday, the CEO of Thürmer Tools estimates:

“We want to inspire others to do something similar – and like us, try something that has not been done or seen before. We need to invent products that can be exported. We are in a recession that will last for a very long time. 3D printing can help restart and boost Danish exports. Up to 65 percent of everything used in the private sector and industry is produced in China. It's about promoting flexibility and ensuring survival for companies by bringing production back to Denmark,” says Erick Thürmer.

The Danish SME will continue working on the project for the next eight months and collaborate with their assigned designer-in-residence about developing their circular business model further.

About Thürmer Tools

  • Established in 1898

  • Manufactures tools and threads

  • Member of MADE since 2015

  • Placed in Gilleleje, Denmark


  • C-VoUCHER is supported by EU's Horizon 2020 program, Grant Agreement no. 777773

  • C-VoUCHER stands for: Circularize ValUe CHains across European Regional Innovation Strategies.

  • They help SME's in Europe to become develop sustainable supply chains.

  • MADE is a partner in the project as a Danish cluster for innovation and will help identify manufacturing challenges, possibilities and solutions related to circular economy.

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