Jun 20, 2016 | By Alec

Remember Vader Systems? A young father-and-son led startup from East Amherst, NY, Vader Systems first wowed crowds at the 2013 Maker Faire NYC with their never-before-seen liquid molten jet 3D printing technology called MagnetoJet 3D Printing – which promised to disrupt the existing metal 3D printing market with its low-cost, high-volume metal 3D printing capabilities. Since then, the company’s Mk 1 3D printer has been widely anticipated and has enjoyed extensive investor attention. The company has just raised a further $750,000 in a new angel fundraising round led by local investor Jonathan Amoia.

Including this new investment round, Vader Systems has now raised a total of $1.35 million over the past two years. The new seed round also comes in at a higher valuation than previous rounds. The company, founded by Scott and Zachary Vader, now employs four full-time employees and is currently working on a ‘sales demonstrator’ machine that can be tested by prospective clients. As father and CEO Scott Vader revealed, they are expecting to complete an initial production run of approximately 20 machines in the middle of 2017. Each 3D printer is expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars, representing a high margin per sale, but should be easily able to compete with existing metal 3D printers.

This is great news for all fans of metal 3D printing, because the Mk1 MagnetoJet 3D printer is still looking very promising indeed. Grown out of the efforts of Zachary to build his own micro-gas turbine generator, he and his father teamed up to enable production and quickly ran into limitations with existing metal 3D printing platforms. Realizing the potential of merging Magneto Hydro Dynamics (MHD) and Liquid Metal Jet Printing (LMJP), the MagnetoJet 3D printing technology was born.

Currently patent pending, the technology is essentially based on manipulating liquid metal through magnetism. “MagnetoJet’s extraordinary physics are accomplished by depositing Aluminum wire into an 800°C ceramic chamber, where it is influenced into a molten state. This molten media is then electromagnetically pulsed – causing a droplet to form and eject with precision from a carefully crafted ceramic nozzle,” they explain.

The result is a very potent 3D printing platform. The Mk1 is expected to deliver 1000 droplets per second at a 200 micron resolution, and is said to be up to twice as fast as conventional 3D powder bed metal 3D printers. Featuring a 12”x12”x12” build platform and capable of 3D printing aluminum and its alloys, it can 3D print as much as 1 lb. of materials per hour. What’s more, parts could be up to 90 percent cheaper to produce than conventional 3D prints. “Aluminum was an intentional first step, but MagnetoJet will evolve to printing additional conductive metals and potentially thousands of printing heads within one machine,” they say.

That’s the plan, anyway. With such a small team and such an ambitious 3D printing platform, it’s hardly surprising that Vader Systems have struggled with delays. Initially expected to be ready for market in mid-2016, that release has now been set back by a year. But the father and son team are very optimistic about their progress. “The technology is coming together beautifully and we've surpassed all our production targets,” Scott said. “We've got 20 strong leads on our first machine and we'll be working over the next three months to close those sales.”

What’s more, the company is also looking to expand. Starting out in the basement of the family home, Vader Systems is now scouting for a new location to set up a full scale production facility. Needing between 10,000- and 20,000-square feet, they are looking at locations throughout Western New York. What’s more, the Mk2 – featuring 10 printing heads and being 30 times faster than the Mk1 – is scheduled for release in 2018. If successful, metal 3D printing will never be the same again.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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