High-Performance 3D Printers
R3 Printing has created a high-performance 3D printer.
Its printer enables companies to create custom 3D-printed products at prices that compete with mass production. The company aims to bring its printer to market in 2021.
R3 is targeting the 3D printing industry. By 2024, this market is projected to reach $36 billion.
In 2018, there were more than 100 early-stage investments into 3D printing companies. These investments totaled nearly $1.3 billion.
These investments coincided with an increase in M&A activity in the industry. A 2018 report from CB Insights noted that large industrial companies like GE (NYSE: GE) and Siemens have accelerated 3D printing acquisitions.
But despite this market’s size, and its projections for growth, current 3D printers are problematic. Those looking to incorporate 3D printing into their business have only two options:
Cheap printers that require lots of setup, manual labor, and expertise to run…
Or enterprise-grade printers that can cost well over $10,000, and require costly proprietary materials that destroy a company’s product margins.
No matter which option they choose, the conclusion is the same: the cost of 3D printing is too high. This means custom 3D-printed products are expensive — far too expensive to go mainstream.
Mass-produced earbuds, for example, retail for around $160. Custom 3D-printed earbuds, in contrast, can cost $500. Mass-produced shoe insoles can retail for less than $10, while custom ones can cost as much as $100.
The bottom line: while there’s a demand for products that are custom-made, most are only available to wealthier customers.
Mass production helps to reduce the cost of products for consumers. But taking a “one size fits all” approach for many products isn’t ideal.
Custom printing would solve this problem, if only it were affordable. Now it is.
R3 enables manufacturers to run a scalable 3D printing business. Its affordability — printers retail for less than $10,000 — enables customers to operate more printers and create custom products at a lower cost.
Not only do these printers stand up to manufacturers who run operations 24/7, but they also outperform the competition.
The key is the use of a lighter printhead — the component in a printer that transfers ink onto the page. By shedding over 80% of the weight of a traditional printhead, R3’s printer can print items 90% faster than the competition. It can also print items that are 200% larger.
A feature called Active Overheat Prevention uses an additional sensor in the printhead to monitor heat absorption and trigger a pause in printing if a critical threshold is reached.
Most thermally-induced jams take about 45 minutes of trained labor to fix. And operators are put at risk of burns and other injuries.
By virtually eliminating the need to repair these printer failures, Active Overheat Prevention allows on-demand manufacturing businesses to operate more 3D printers with a smaller staff.
R3’s printers don’t rely on expensive proprietary materials. This makes it easier for companies to replace parts when necessary.
Furthermore, its printers don’t require the “cloud” for operations or monitoring. This enables R3 to sell its product to businesses or government agencies with strict security requirements. Customers can retain access to all operations and monitoring features over their local network.
R3 has been granted a patent and has four other patents pending. These protect the core features and mechanisms of its product.
The company has received funding from Ocean Accelerator, a program that accepts only 10 startups each year and provides seed-stage capital. It’s partnered with FutureWorks, a hardware and advanced manufacturing incubator funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
R3 has several testing partners, including Modularity Space. This aerospace company is developing scalable and affordable satellites and spacecraft. Additional testing partners include:
• Li-Leger Creative, a product design and manufacturing company.
• Obsessively Geek, and on-demand manufacturing company.
• Forge Manufacturing, a digital design company.
• And Halo Aerospace, an aerospace R&D company.
Notably, R3 has received a Small Business Innovation Research federal government grant. This was in partnership with the U.S. Air Force.
This partnership represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity as the military division attempts to adopt new manufacturing technologies to reduce costs and increase operational readiness.
With respect to marketing efforts, R3 will initially target on-demand manufacturers. These customers have expert knowledge of 3D printing. Next, it will target architectural and engineering firms. These customers are likely familiar with 3D printing, but are not necessarily experts. Finally, R3 will target large enterprises and universities.
Its initial market area will be North America. Of the $2.6 billion worth of 3D printers sold in 2018, $974 million were sold in this continent.
Paul has a passion for invention and automation.
He began his career at Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).
From there, he joined Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest investment management companies. While there, he worked in the technology division.
Paul has been with R3 Printing since 2018, and is the inventor of its product’s patented features.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Fordham University and studied Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. He also graduated from the Y Combinator Startup School.
Petra is responsible for leading R3 Printing’s growth strategy.
Before joining the company, she worked in digital marketing for Dentsu Aegis, a global media company.
Prior to that, she was a production associate with the Disney ABC Television Group.
Earlier in her career, Petra was a production assistant with Leftfield Pictures, a media company, and interned as a producer with ABC News.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree from NYU and graduated from the Y Combinator Startup School.