Aerosint has received a large funding round to support their highly unusual 3D printer development.
The company, based in Liges, Belgium, has produced a rather unusual 3D printing process that to my knowledge has not been used elsewhere. While we wrote about it in detail some time ago, I can summarize it as follows.
Aerosint uses a powder-based process, similar to SLS machines, but with a difference. Instead of simply plowing out another layer of the same powdered material, their system selectively drops different kinds of powder on each layer. This means that when an object is fused with the powder, it can be made from multiple materials.
This is, as far as I know, the only powder process that can produce multimaterial objects.
The process also offers freedom of geometry, as the powder provides all around support for objects being printed, so post processing is simplified.
They’ve received €850K (USD$1M) in funding from Meusinvest Group and Innovation Fund, who were earlier investors in the company. Also in this round is an individual investor, Peter Mercelis, who was co-founder of LayerWise, a company that provided 3D metal printing services and was acquired by 3D Systems in 2014.
What will Aerosint do with this fresh cash? They say:
This round of funding will be used to strengthen the existing patent portfolio, finance collaborative development projects, and further advance the technology. Aerosint also aims to double the current team of 6 in the next one to two years to accelerate its development and shorten the time to market.
And that tells a bit of the story: this company is still in the very early stages, and has yet to market a product.
It’s therefore not yet known whether they will succeed, as this is an entirely new process. But it does seem very promising, as it could be used for not only plastic but also metal 3D printing in theory.