XJet officially opened its Additive Manufacturing Center in Rehovot, Israel earlier this week.
Inviting a wealth of partners, customers, and journalists, XJet supplemented the grand opening with a conference session which saw contributions from Syqe Medical, Oerlikon, and Professor Oded Shoseyov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The facility is the result of 10 million USD (8.7m EUR) of investment. Housing more than half a dozen Carmel 1400 systems and 15 employees, the 8,000 square-foot facility will run 24 hours a day, six days a week. It will be headed by XJet’s Dr. Ophira Melamed.
In the previous 12 months, the company has launched its flagship product (formnext 2017); announced two medical users of its technology (AB Universal & Syqe Medical, RAPID + TCT 2018); and secured its first reseller agreement (Carfulan Group, TCT Show 2018); and now, has a base that will accelerate materials and applications development.
“The new AM Center is a crucial part of our pursuit for wide-ranging, multi-material printing,” commented Hanan Gothait, XJet CEO. “XJet Carmel AM systems are currently available with one of two printing materials: stainless steel or zirconia. Our vision is a platform that prints with a multitude of metals and ceramics on the same part. We will use the AM Center to develop and demonstrate specialised applications, print test parts for our global customer base, and trial new metal and ceramic materials.”
Gothait founded the company, having left Objet, in 2005 to set up a new venture, and is thus the proudest of its progress. Thirteen years ago, he set about developing a process that could print in metals and ceramics, acknowledging that the parts produced with it would need to be high quality and high density, and preferably require as little post-processing as possible. Happy with what he had developed, he got the ball rolling with commercialisation in April 2016, and two and half years later is confident in its capabilities.
Density of around 99.95% can be achieved with ceramic parts, and post-processing simply consists of dunking the components in a Jacuzzi full of room temperature water for a short time to remove the soluble support material. Metal parts do require sintering in addition to support removal, but no polishing. Whatever the material, super fine details are attainable, and just about any geometry you can imagine too, thanks to layers down to five microns.
XJet would concur, though, it’s time to let real-life parts do the talking. It has put enough pieces together this last year to ensure there’s a machine to buy and a network through which to acquire it. “The users know more than we about what you can do with additive manufacturing,” XJet CBO, Dror Donai, noted in Rehovot. They can’t find out, though, without a range of materials to play with.
“This is a big achievement for XJet,” Gothait said. “This new, advanced Additive Manufacturing Center will not only accelerate our progress in many directions, it will open many new possibilities for us. It will help us leverage the extraordinary abilities of our technology.
“The main goal of the company is to introduce more and more materials. The printer works well, so materials is something we need to push fast. You will see the results in the coming months.”