Mar 3, 2016 | By Kira
Israeli metal 3D printing company XJet has closed a $25 million funding round led in large part by Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL and 3D software creator Autodesk, through its Spark Investment Fund. While the funding represents a major financial boost for the company’s patented NanoParticle Jetting technology, a new form of metal 3D printing that deposits liquid metal from a standard printing head, Autodesk’s investment will no doubt bring XJet unprecedented exposure within the competitive metal 3D printing industry.
XJet’s breakthrough NanoParticle Jetting technology uses nano-sized metal particles suspended within a patented liquid formula. This formula can be jetted from standard printing heads, eliminating the lasers used in most metal additive manufacturing processes and setting it apart from traditional sintering or metal powder fusing technologies. When put through extremely high temperatures (550F/300C), the liquid formula evaporates, leaving behind extremely complex, precise, and strongly-bound metal components with layer thicknesses under 2 microns.
According to the company, the NanoParticle Jetting process is safe, easy, more accurate, and up to 5x faster than laser metal 3D printers. It also enables virtually any geometry to be designed, and is ideal for short run productions of precision, custom metal 3D printed parts in high-demand areas of production, such as aerospace, automotive, medicine, dental and more.
Animation of the liquid metal 3D printing process
This “revolution in metal additive manufacturing” certainly seems to have sparked the interest of Autodesk, which is no stranger to making hefty investments in promising new 3D printing technologies. Recently, Autodesk invested in Carbon3D’s CLIP technology, in 3D printing company Optomec, and it acquired 3D printing software company netfabb.
“Our support of XJet through the Spark Investment Fund stems from our belief that this technology has the potential to change the future of the additive manufacturing industry,” said Eitan Tsarfati, head of Digital Manufacturing and general manager at Autodesk Israel. “Autodesk Israel’s Development Center is focused on driving breakthroughs in the future of making things, and we are proud to work with companies such as XJet that likewise are pushing the limits of manufacturing technologies to accelerate a new industrial revolution.”
Based in Rehovot, Israel, XJet was originally founded in 2005 by Hanan Gothait in an attempt to develop 3D printed solar panels, raising $60 million in the process. Two years ago, the company shifted its focus entirely to metal 3D printing, raising another $22 million, and filing roughly fifty different patents since. The company consists of over 60 employees, many of whom, including Gothait and CBO Dror Danai, are veteran leaders of the 3D printing industry, having worked for Object Geometries before its merger with Stratasys.
The $25 million funding boost, contributed by Catalyst CEL (a partnership between Catalyst Private Equity in Israel and China Everbright), Autodesk, and other existing shareholders, will be used to complete the development and launch XJet’s technologies to international markets. XJet will also be present at SME’s upcoming RAPID 3D printing event taking place in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about their patented NanoParticle Jetting technology, watch the short, informative video below:
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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