I’m looking at an interesting news report detailing the first products from a new 3D printer manufacturer located in Loveland, Colorado.
Loveland, Colorado, as you may recall, was the long-time headquarters of Aleph Objects, the original makers of the LulzBot brand of desktop 3D printers.
For many years LulzBot was one of the premier desktop options in the 3D printing space, with multiple advanced devices produced. With a strong emphasis on open source technologies, the company was seen as one of the winners in 3D printing.
However, that all suddenly evaporated last October, when Aleph Objects abruptly announced they were laying off the majority of their staff. We received a number of behind the scenes reports on the company, and also interviewed the founder, Jeff Moe, about the situation.
The saga took another turn shortly thereafter, where it was announced the assets of Aleph Objects, specifically the 3D printers and their designs, were acquired by a new company based in Fargo, ND.
We haven’t heard much from this new operation as yet.
SynDaver 3D Printing
Then today we were directed to a news report from the Loveland Reporter-Herald discussing a new 3D printer venture, Syndaver West. Apparently this organization had produced their first 3D printer.
What is SynDaver West? It turns out they are a division of SynDaver Labs Inc., a Florida company specializing in the unusual production of “synthetic cadavers”. I didn’t know this is a thing, but evidently it’s a product type used in medical education. Here’s an image of one of their products:
The new division started up in January and now boasts of ten staff. Apparently the new division will not be producing synthetic cadavers, but might do so in the future.
I don’t know much about their 3D printer, other than what we can see in the rough image at top from the Reporter-Herald. They seem to be 3D printing N95 masks, or at least the rigid components of them. From this we can determine:
- The name of the machine or brand is “VAxi”?
- The machine extrudes 1.75mm filament
- The device seems to have an i3-like motion system
- The build area is something close to 220 x 220 mm
- It appears to have a PEI adhesive surface based on the color
- The build plate may be removable, as it seems to sit in several mounts
- Many of the parts are 3D printed, likely by SynDaver West itself
From what we can see, the machine appears similar to many desktop 3D printers, including the LulzBot series. At this point I have no further information about the price of the device, but the Reporter-Herald suggests they intend on getting the printer to market soon.
That’s not surprising, as it turns out SynDaver West’s staff includes a number of former Aleph Objects employees. A quick search reveals at least four of the ten are former LulzBotters, including a sales manager, a software engineer, an inventory controller and a mechanical designer. Hm, if you wanted to start a 3D printer company those are the skills and roles you’d certainly want to have.
Four (or more) staff at a new company is certainly not going to fill the void left by Aleph Objects, who at one point employed well over 100 staff.
But it’s a start.