The AMUG 2016 schedule is jam-packed full of excellent presentations on innovative applications and technologies but you'd be hard pushed to find a more jam-packed room than the one I have just stepped out of, Dror Danai Chief Business Officer of XJet was presenting the company's technology for the first time.
The highly anticipated new technology from the some of the team who founded Objet is a metal additive manufacturing process that uses ink jetting technology as opposed to lasers. They call it NanoParticle Jetting and Mr Danai certainly believes that it is something of a revolutionary process.
The process means that the operator never has to handle metal powders by installing an easy-to-use cartridge that contains metal particles surrounded by a liquid bubble which allows the material to be deposited via traditional ink jet heads. The heat inside the chamber evaporates the liquid leaving only metal part.
Another unique innovation for metal 3D printing allows for a different support material that does not require to be removed by hand or any mechanical process. Most processes in powder-bed fusion mean that expensive material is often wasted in the form of support, which also takes a further step to remove.
XJet's process uses a separate, as yet embargoed, material that is melted away in a second process, which also doubles up as the sintering of the part. These steps mean that XJet can offer unrivalled wall thickness for metal 3D printing as well as more geometric design freedom.
Dror also posted some incredible numbers during the presentation including an exhaustive list of investors. One particularly eye-catching figure was that of 221 million - that's the amount of droplets he XJet technology can deposit per second.
The company has an interesting backstory, being found by Objet founder Hanan Gothait in 2005 to support the solar power industry, it realised the potential for its technology in the additive manufacturing field in 2013 and has been working to an unveil in Q2 2016. Hanan has vast experience in bringing ink jet technology to various industries having sold Idanit's large scale printing to HP and then developed the PolyJet process, now a key staple of Stratasys.
Mr Danai himself was involved in Objet for over a decade and quipped during this presentation that some have asked him whether XJet stood for "ex Objet". It doesn't by the way, it was the temporary name Hanan gave the technology whilst in development, the interim name for the technology stuck and at RAPID 2016 they will unveil the technology for the first time.
Just like HP with Multi-Jet Fusion the technology being ink jet based is scalable and XJet currently have seven machines operating in its Rehovot, Israel HQ.