Two Sides To Every Story: Essentium Disputes Jabil Legal Claims

By on July 19th, 2019 in Corporate

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 The HSE 180•S 3D printer [Image: Essentium]
The HSE 180•S 3D printer [Image: Essentium]

In response to Jabil’s recently publicized lawsuit against Essentium, the latter says that the claims of wrongdoing are unmerited.

While the lawsuit was filed at the end of June, it has only come to public attention this week as the media picked up on the fact that Jabil filed suit against Essentium regarding a high-speed 3D printing system.

The Lawsuit

In the lengthy claims, Jabil’s legal representation lays out a full 52 allegations against Essentium Inc., Essentium Materials LLC, and four individuals (co-founders of Essentium Inc.). The claims in turn support Jabil’s 10 formal counts against different groupings of individuals and business entities.

At heart, the case comes down to a simple matter: Jabil had, since 2014, been working in stealth on a process they called “TenX” — a ten-times-faster FFF 3D printing system.

Essentium is now marketing its HSE 180•S 3D printer, marketed as being “10X faster” than competitive systems. Jabil says those claims are “audacious” in light of each of the named individuals in the case having worked in some capacity on the TenX project which, they say, is the basis for the technological improvements that make Essentium’s HSE the high-speed offering that it is.

The Other Side of the Coin

Every story, of course, has two sides.

And so does every lawsuit. The publicly available court filing shares Jabil’s side of the story. Of course neither entity is speaking to the press right now — as indeed they shouldn’t be — during an active legal case.

But shortly after the media caught wind of the lawsuit, Essentium’s Chairman of the Board penned and published an open letter to share some of the company’s perspective which is unsurprisingly a completely different take than that presented by Jabil.

Presented in full:


July 17, 2019

I wanted to acknowledge a development that has recently been in the media; and to take this opportunity to assure you of our position.

Jabil has filed a lawsuit against Essentium and four of our co-founders. This action is entirely without merit, and we are responding to it aggressively. Our corporate values are based around trust, service, transparency, and innovation. We have never detracted from these values.

Since our inception, Essentium has been disrupting traditional manufacturing processes. Together with our customers, partners, and our own supply chain, we are transforming the future of industrial-scale manufacturing. Together we are breaking down barriers of scale, strength, and economics in additive manufacturing. 

Nothing will distract us from this work. 


Steve Birdwell

Essentium Chairman of the Board”

The Truth

We say there are two sides to every story, but really there are three: Side A, Side B, and the What Really Happened (aka: “The Full Truth”).

It’s a fairly well-known adage that holds up especially well in legal disputes like this one.

The 3D printing industry has seen some pretty big names go at it in courts of law; think EnvisionTEC v Formlabs, Formlabs v DWS, Desktop Metal v Markforged.

Most cases will be settled out of court and we’ll never know all the details — not of Side A, Side B, nor Truth. And that’s okay.

At first glance of this lawsuit, our team were taken aback: it seemed that Jabil’s case was pretty airtight. But as more comes out and Essentium will be apparently refuting these claims “aggressively,” we are certainly interested to follow along as more facts unfold in the course of time, if ever they become public knowledge.

Via Essentium

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.