3d printers

An American manufacturer makes the fastest industrial 3D printers in the world — by a factor of about 20 times

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This article was sponsored by Nexa3Da 3D printer and materials manufacturer that is sustainably digitizing the global supply chain.

The world doesn’t need another 3D printer unless it’s orders of magnitude larger,” said Avi Reichental, CEO, President and Co-Founder of Nexa3D when he conceived the company of additive manufacturing. In 2014, Popular mechanics The magazine had previously named Reichental one of the top 25 manufacturers reinventing the American dream, and he had given a TED talk on the future of 3D printing that would garner more than 2.5 million views.

But he saw the innovation potential of additive manufacturing that had yet to be tapped: “I founded Nexa3D in 2016 after 12 years in the industry as CEO of 3D Systems because I realized that to fully exploit 3D printing, it needed to be much faster, more productive, accurate and affordable.

“Fast forward to 2021: Nexa3D makes the world’s fastest industrial 3D printers at about 20 times the productivity factor, with a much lower cost of ownership,” he says. The Ventura, Calif.-based company can cut manufacturers’ operating costs by up to 85%.

To do this, Nexa3D has developed its own technology stack. Innovations include the LSPc (Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing) print engine for photoplastics, including the NXE 400 and NXD 200; the Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) print engine for thermoplastics, the QLS 350; and Digital Twin Printing (DTP) software that enables new material properties.

“Our superpowers are layer speed and build size,” Reichental reveals.

Nexa3D helps customers increase product loyalty and functionality, personalize them, and bring them to market faster. For example:

  • DMM, a Japanese manufacturer, bought five Nexa3D printers because it cut their cycle time and delivery by around 50%.
  • FLYER, a Swiss manufacturer of premium e-bikes for various terrains since 1995, used their NXE 400 printer to quickly prototype their new e-bike.
  • Arcimoto, a micromobility company based in Eugene, Oregon, has used technology from Nexa3D to reduce the weight of parts of its Fun Utility Vehicles (FUVs) by up to 50%. “The lighter the vehicle, the longer the range per battery charge,” says Reichental. “It’s good for the planet – and good for the wallet.”

Nexa3D’s ability to efficiently bring reliable products to market lies outside of global supply chain disruptions. “There’s so much waste we can eliminate and so much carbon footprint we can reduce in every part of the supply chain by sourcing it overseas, shipping it, warehousing it, transporting it overland, having the wrong parts where you don’t need them, and paying for the excess,” Reichental notes. “We want to sustainably digitize the supply chain and be part of the solution to ‘hyper-localization and manufacturing simplification.’

To that end, Reichental says, “At Nexa3D, we believe that we don’t just build 3D printers – we build time machines because we give our customers a lot of time. And time is such a precious thing that it is impossible to give enough time back to customers and society. So the more time we can give back to our customers, the more creative and innovative they can be. »

Thomas Insights (IT): Nexa3D managed to reduce 3D printing time from days to minutes. How will this change the industry?

Avi Reichental (AR): We have just published an incredible success story with a young company in France called WeMed. During COVID, WeMed saw the need for telemedicine, so they invented a brand new stethoscope called SKOP. The only way to make this little remote stethoscope, which you can put over your heart to transmit your heartbeat to your doctor, is to 3D print it. The big problem with the SKOP is that it takes designs that nature patented millions of years ago – how an ear canal is constructed – and perfected it with biomimicry.

This is an example of a very demanding product. You need to make sure you have extreme accuracy and consistency. In the space of about four months, we developed and customized the materials with our partner Henkel; we color matched them; we worked with contract manufacturing company Third to make sure you’d never know they were 3D printed unless you looked inside; and we worked to scale. They are now on track to produce around 100,000 of these products.

This is really where Nexa3D shines: we did it to industrialize and democratize access to 3D printers.

IT: If not, how does 3D printing advance the medical field?

AR: Orthodontics with aligners, dental restorations and dentures is one of the biggest opportunities opened up for 3D printing. The potential user audience is both clinicians and dental laboratories.

There is no constraint to the manufacturing process. You can make patient-specific devices really, really quickly and very, very cost-effectively.

It’s a way to not only put a smile on your face because you can show off straight teeth, but it’s an opportunity to improve the quality of life in a cost-effective, fast and life-changing way, especially for a ageing population.

Our goal is to completely change the way people perceive design. It is also an opportunity to improve health care as we know it.

IT: What is the biggest question that prospects and customers ask you, and how do you answer it?

AR: There are two big questions. The first is: “Can you prove to me that your printer offers up to 20 times the productivity of other existing printers?” to which we reply, “Absolutely. Come see for yourself.” We love doing live demos on Zoom, and we invite anyone in disbelief to come see for themselves.

The second most common question is: “Can I print this part on a Nexa3D printer?” And the answer to that is: “Send us your design, and we’ll figure it out together”, with a follow-up question: “Why wouldn’t you want to further optimize your design for 3D printing and take full advantage of the fact that “with Nexa3D you can still optimize, combine parts and improve parts? When you do all of this, you simplify your supply chain and reduce material and energy inputs, making it much more sustainable, d from an environmental point of view.

For a hundred years, we’ve confined our imagination and design language to the confines of traditional manufacturing techniques. For the first time, we have complete freedom of design and expression, and the ability to reimagine how circular economy principles, biomimicry, and limitless digital manufacturing capabilities can converge to make the impossible possible. .

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IT: Can you tell me a bit about your strategic partnerships?

AR: With technology developing at an exponential rate, the future is coming faster than we can even imagine. No company, big or small, has the ability to go it alone. So we decided from the start that we were going to create partnerships, for example, with hardware suppliers, with software suppliers, and with other suppliers of production automation equipment because in the end, if we want to change the entire ecosystem of Industry 4.0 Solutions, we must offer our customers a complete and complete solution, and not just parts of it.

We have excellent collaborations with companies like Henkel, BASF, Evonik and DSM. We are open to bringing more partnerships and collaborations to market. To enable this, we have just announced another collaboration with Henkel to open a factory of the future right here in Ventura, our headquarters. We call it NEXTPLANT. After thatPLANT will have full manufacturing capabilities to show customers in airliner production, footwear production, automotive production and investment casting how they can bring their products to full scale with Nexa3D.

IT: Is Nexa3D recruiting?

AR: We are expanding our portfolio a bit with additional solutions over the next 12 months. We are passionate about what we do and we know we are not alone. So we want to find other kindred spirits because we believe we have created an environment where anyone can come and do the best work of their life with us. Nexa3D is growing and we are looking to hire up to 50 other Nexers to join the team. Together we can change the way people design and make products.

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Image Credit: Music Video from “The Cool Parts Show” / Additive Manufacturing, Courtesy of Nexa3D

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