May 24, 2016 | By Tess

American research and advisory firm Gartner has been key in the monitoring and predictions of the 3D printing industry market, often publishing reports that lay out expectations of growth and impact. Last month for instance, Gartner released a report that found that 65% of supply chain professionals  will invest in 3D printing within the next two years. Recently, the global research firm also released its “Cool Vendors in 3D Printing 2016” list, which draws attention to five additive manufacturing companies which could be paving the way for the future of 3D printing.

The list of “Cool Vendors”, which covers areas such as nano and bio-printing, was nominated by a team of researchers at Gartner including Pete Basiliere, Marc Halpern, Mike Shanler and Andrew Stevens. Notably, the list is not exclusive, as there are undoubtedly many disruptive 3D printing companies out there. As Gartner states, “This research does not constitute an exhaustive list of vendors in any given technology area, but rather is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products and services.”

Among the companies listed were: Vancouver, Canada-based company Aspect Biosystems; Lod, Israel based Massivit 3D; Ness Ziona, Israel based Nano Dimension; Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany based Nanoscribe; and New York, US based Source3.

Aspect Biosystems was founded in 2013 and has since gone on to become one of the leading players in the field of 3D bioprinting. With their proprietary 3D bioprinting platform, known as Lab-on-a-printer technology, the company has been able to 3D print heterogeneous, structurally accurate, and functional tissues that have been used for further research. The Lab-on-a-printer system uses a multifunctional microfluidic printhead, which itself is capable of “manipulating and sequencing multiple biomaterials, living cells, extracellular matrix content, growth factors, bioactive compounds and other bioinks ‘on the fly’”. Currently, Aspect Biosystems is developing a portfolio of validated tissues, which could be key in the development of more advanced drugs and other areas of medical research and development. If you ask us, that is pretty cool. In fact, we even included Aspect Biosystems on our own list of top 3D bioprinting systems.

Massivit 3D, if you haven’t guessed by the name, is responsible for manufacturing some of the largest 3D printing systems around. Their unique system, which is based on smart algorithmic software and a proprietary Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology, is capable of manufacturing large scale parts with precision and detail and fast. GDP utlizes Massivit 3D’s own gel printing material (called Massivit), which is a UV sensitive gel that solidifies and becomes a hard polymer once it is exposed to UV light. According to the company, “The material is non-flammable, and has good structural strength similar to ABS materials commonly used in 3D printing.” The scale of the parts printed can be as large as 4ft x 5ft x 6ft, and can be printed at a rate of 39 inches per minute in the X and Y axes, and up to 13 inches per hour in height.

You might recognize the third company on the list, Nano Dimensions, as we’ve written about the rapidly developing company a number of times recently. The company, which was founded in 2012, has been filing a number of patents for its newest technologies, including a patent for the creation of 3D printed shielded conductors in printed circuit boards (PCBs), as well as for the simultaneous sintering and curing of two types of ink for 3D printed electronics. Their work, which deals with the additive manufacturing of PCBs through high-performance multilayer printing technology, could effectively reduce the cost, time, and difficulty of manufacturing electronic devices. Their PCB 3D printer, the DragonFly 2020, could also allow for the creation of custom and scalable products, which as Gartner points out “puts Nano Dimension’s PCB printer at the convergence of electrical, mechanical and software design and manufacturing.”

Nanoscribe GmbH has made Gartner’s list for its nano and micro-scale 3D printing technologies. Founded in 2007, Nanoscribe has established itself in the laser lithography industry and its systems have been adopted throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT lithography system works by solidifying photoresist materials through the use of laser light on a micro-scale. The system, which has the potential to push forward innovations in the field of micro-scale 3D printing, can use both liquid photoresist materials and solid, spin-coated resist materials. With a user-friendly software and unique micro-scale 3D printing technology, Nanoscribe is surely a disruptive force in the additive manufacturing world.

Last, but certainly not least on Gartner’s list of Cool Vendors in 3D Printing is NY, NY based Source3. Founded in 2014, the company is the world’s first platform for end-to-end management of intellectual property in user generated content, otherwise known as UGC. As Gartner explains, “Source3 has developed a platform that provides the same features that enable 3D-printable UGC as YouTube has for audio and video UGC: licenses with well-defined rights; attribution through tags, metadata, image recognition and shape recognition; monetization through sale of reproduced goods; and on-demand production royalty systems with analytics.” In an additional effort, Source3 recently teamed up with the U.S. Army to 3D print personalized keepsakes for soldiers and their families.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for these five additive manufacturing companies. Gartner analysts recommended that technology providers evaluate these and similar providers in order to expand current products, appraise the competitive marketspace and create roadmaps for future product and service offerings.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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