Exploring the Use of 3D Printing in Agriculture: A Look at AGCO’s Rapid Prototyping and What it Means for the Future


AGCO has entered into a joint venture with Trimble [Source: AGCO]

Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi discuss how the integration of 3D printing in agriculture continues to gain traction, enabling farmers to optimize production processes.

On September 28, 2023, AGCO announced its joint venture with Trimble, a move that will position it to better compete with Deere. The joint venture will be valued at US$2.4 billion, which surpasses CNH Industrial’s acquisition of another precision agriculture company, Raven, for US$2.1 billion in 2021.


AGCO is a company focused on designing, manufacturing, and distributing solutions for the agricultural industry. As a leader in its field, AGCO is dedicated to bolstering the effectiveness and profitability of modern farming.

Among their projects, ALGCO develops equipment tailored to meet the rising global demand for food and fuel. Their innovative solutions include hybrid machinery, telemetry-based tracking systems and adaptable technologies that can address the unique requirements of regional farming.

According to Rye DeGarmo, the Director of Engineering, Global Seeding and Tillage at AGCO, 3D printing has proven to be incredibly beneficial to their operations. AGCO uses 3D printers for swift prototyping during the initial design phases of their revamped products. DeGarmo noted that they’re able to develop and refine prototypes within days rather than weeks, allowing for a cost-efficient transition to full-scale production.


Trimble excels in the field of precision agriculture. It addresses the difficulties that farmers face by employing advanced technology. Trimble provides solutions that are purpose-built, such as software and cloud-based platforms, to cater to the requirements of farming communities worldwide.

Key technologies and offerings include guidance and steering, flow and application management, water management, on-premises and cloud-based data management, and positioning services.

Drones also play a role in combination with precision farming technologies. The utilization of drones enables farmers to capture high-resolution images promptly and in real-time. As a result, they gain a better understanding of the crop quality and identify any improvements necessary to aid growth.

Agricultural Equipment and 3D Printing

We have covered the rise of 3D printing in the agriculture industry in previous articles. Whether we were covering vertical farming or robotics and automation in the farming industry, the impact that the 3D printing industry can have on agricultural outcomes across the world is only beginning to manifest. Recently, we highlighted the fate of four global equipment giants and how their fates were aligned with 3D printing advancements.

For farmers, 3D printers can be just another tool in their toolbox.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

The enduring Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is accessible for organizations that are paving the way in developing novel or improved products, methodologies, and/or software.

3D printing has the potential to amplify a company’s R&D Tax Credits significantly. Salaries for technical staff involved in the creation, testing, and refinement of 3D printed prototypes can be included as a part of the eligible time dedicated to the R&D Tax Credit. In the same vein, time spent on integrating 3D printing hardware and software, when leveraged for process betterment, also counts as an eligible activity. Finally, the expenditures for filaments consumed during development may be reimbursed when used for modeling and preproduction.

3D printing technology is indicative of R&D Credit eligible activities occurring, irrespective of whether it is deployed for prototyping, testing, or final production. Companies adopting this technology should evaluate making use of R&D Tax Credits.


While AGCO’s primary objective in joining forces with Trimble is to enhance its profitability and Return on Investments, there’s also a technological aspect to this agreement. AGCO is presently making use of 3D printing in the innovation and redesigning of its offerings. Therefore, this consolidation has the potential to broaden the application of 3D printing in the farming sector, thereby making AGCO a stronger rival against Deere.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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