When Davide visited XJet in Israel last year, he was convinced that the company’s metal inkjetting innovation may be ground-breaking. As it turns out, he’s not the just one. In an investment round led by Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL and create software maker Autodesk, the cutting-edge startup has raised $25 million.
Whilst the concept of inkjetting can spark images of Stratasys’ PolyJet innovation in one’s mind, XJet‘s innovation is completely novel and does not rely on UV curing, a binder, or lasers. Instead, a nanoparticle metal ink is jetted of piezo-print heads preceding high temperatures (550° F/ 300° C) cause the liquid “jacket” that surrounds the metal nanoparticles to evaporate, leaving just the metal fused together. Davide previously mentioned it by saying, “think of it is that of making sandcastles by dripping wet sand, that dries and solidifies as it is being deposited.” Replace sand with metal and your sunny day at the beach with extreme temperatures and you’ve got the thought.
Because XJet’s innovation, may already up and running at their facility in Rehovot, does not need a vacuum or argon gas, it is in addition safer than a few other metal printing processes, like EBM or DMLS. It in addition does not need excess material, as in the case with powderbed processes, and the finest layer thickness possible is less than 2 microns, never preceding possible with metal 3D printing. The firm in addition claims that it does all of this at speeds five times faster than laser powderbed processes and with unprecedented precision.
Having conceived the innovation approximately ten years ago, XJet has may already raised worthwhile capital to hustle it actually additional. In the period between 2007-2011, the company raised $60 million, followed by $22 million in 2014. This latest round sees another $25 million contributed to the firm to assist XJet penetrate the making sector in China. Hanan Gothait, co-founder of Objet, became the CEO of XJet after his former company merged with Stratasys. All of this obviously spells good results for the company, but what can it mean for 3D printing?