In the first issue of TCT North America, back in December, we compiled a list of the most exciting technologies to look for in 2016. One of those was from Israeli-company and industry newcomer, XJet, who grabbed our attention with their NanoParticle Jetting technology.
Dror Danai, XJet CBO, told TCT: "XJet is revolutionising metal additive manufacturing by eliminating the need for lasers and metalpowder beds. The result is that companies will be able to simply and safely produce high-strength metal parts with improvements in part quality, accuracy and surface smoothness compared to current metal AM methods."
Now the company has announced it has received a massive $25 million investment in a funding round led by Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL and design software giant, Autodesk.
XJet's technology uses solid metal nanoparticles suspended in liquid ink in sealed cartridges. Extremely high temperatures cause the liquid "jacket" around the metal nanoparticles to evaporate, resulting in strong binding of the metal. The company originally developed a printing solution for the solar panel industry and expanded into manufacturing in 2013.
From 2007-2011 XJet raised $60 million from investors including Applied Materials and Israel's Landa Ventures and in 2014 raised another $22 million to fund its transition from the solar panel sector. The latest financing will be used to launch its products in global markets.
“This additional round of funding is another vote of confidence in XJet and will ensure our position as a leader in the 3D metal printing arena,” said Hanan Gothait, CEO and Founder XJet. We believe that XJet will redefine the production of short-runs of complex metal parts in major areas of production. Furthermore, the participation of a leading private equity fund such as CATALYST CEL Fund as well as Autodesk is a further show of commitment in innovative three-dimensional technology.”
Catalyst CEL Fund is a partnership between Catalyst Private Equity in Israel and China Everbright Ltd, a Hong Kong-based asset manager. The fund said it expects to help XJet penetrate China's manufacturing sector.
Autodesk have invested heavily in emerging 3D printing technologies in recent months through its Spark investment fund, the world's first 3D printing investment program. Last year the company backed Carbon3D's much-talked about 'CLIP' technology with a $10 million investment.
Autodesk Israel head of Digital Manufacturing and general manager Eitan Tsarfati said, “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. 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.”
The countdown is on for the machine's as the company gears up for the big reveal at RAPID 2016, taking place in Orlando, Florida on 17-19th May. Visit XJet on booth #411.