Additive Manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, has seen wide enthusiasm from various industries for its potential to revolutionize the way custom products are designed and made. Until now, products on the market have not seen wide adoption due to their lack of an economical and scalable model. Industrial-grade quality 3D printers are known to be expensive (>$100K + significant material costs) and have a large footprint. Most of the time they require complex processes, including time-consuming post-processing, venting of toxic emissions, and storage and disposal of harmful chemicals. In addition, only a handful of companies offer color printing and multi-material printing options. These limitations have prevented businesses from realizing the full potential of 3D printing as they did not provide a justifiable return on investment.
With recent advancements in materials science, software and hardware, we are starting to see wider applications of 3D printing, not only in advanced prototyping but also in low-volume end part production and design engineering.
RIZE plays at the forefront of AM innovation. Its game-changing technology was recently recognized by IDC (“2018 Innovators in Plastic-Based 3D Printing”) and Frost & Sullivan (“2019 Best Practices in Technology Innovation Award for Zero-Emission Polymer Material Additive Manufacturing, North America”).
RIZE, based just outside Boston, has a portfolio of 3D printers that offer a step change in safety, speed, ease of use, and part strength all at the lowest cost of ownership for industrial printers.
Their hybrid desktop industrial printers, the RIZE ONE and XRIZE, are tightly-packed and feature-rich. Both offer high efficiency, require essentially no post-processing, have Zero VOC emissions, and produce parts with superior Z-strength; the XRIZE even enables printing in “full, voxel-level color.” In addition, both printers run polymer and composite materials, including carbon fiber material.
The RIZE ONE enables “the production of replacement and custom tooling, fixtures, jigs and end use parts.” With XRIZE, companies can leverage color to further “manufacture full-color parts for FEA and stress analysis, tooling with safety instructions, end-use consumer products such as eyewear, package design, GIS mapping, realistic anatomical parts for patient/clinician communication, pre-surgical planning and education and parts for marketing and entertainment in an office, on the production floor or in the field.”
Why We Invested
First, we are strongly aligned with RIZE’s management team’s mission of “Safety First,” ensuring zero emissions and zero non-toxic materials to provide an inclusive approach to 3D printing that drives adoption among all users. RIZE’s management team brings along decades of expertise in Chemical Engineering, 3D printing and Enterprise Software. Eugene Giller, Founder & CTO, developed RIZE’s technology with a highly scalable and safe method, which enables RIZE to pursue high-impact applications in disaster relief, education, healthcare and space exploration.
Second, we believe that RIZE is well-positioned to benefit from the shift toward software and AI in the space. The lines between physical and digital are blurring, and we are seeing potential for generative design and IoT integration. For instance, RIZE’s printers can print a QR code directly into a tool or part, providing enhanced digital traceability and asset tracking, as well as the potential to quickly and easily access instructions, logs, or other digital records. Another is the concept coined by RIZE and its partner, PSMI, is the “digital tool crib” where a company can keep a digital library of tools, fixtures, and parts that can be created on demand, reducing storage footprint. Generative design uses AI to produce highly optimized parts that reduce waste and perform better all in a fraction of the time it would take engineers to design with an iterative approach. These are a few opportunities RIZE can leverage to augment their 3D printing technology. Andy Kalambi, CEO, brings 25+ years of expertise in enterprise software and manufacturing, critical to the development of RIZE’s unique software solutions.
Finally, we invested in RIZE because their products are truly innovative: highly efficient, minimal post-processing, best-in-class Z-strength (that mimics injection molded parts), small footprint and simple to use. They have found a way to make 3D printing as easy as 2D printing which will empower an entire wave of entrepreneurs, innovators, and exciting new applications. Their desktop-sized industrial-grade products have created an entirely new market sub-segment with leading quality and precision. As they explore new materials and techniques we expect their market leadership to widen. What is most exciting for potential customers is that all of this comes at a fraction of the price of the competition; with such a low cost it is easy to realize a return on investment in a RIZE printer.
RIZE has received many prestigious awards and we believe its superior combination of features and functionality make RIZE’s products the best in class. We’re thrilled to work with the RIZE team and are excited for what the future holds: further innovation in desktop industrial 3D printing technology and exciting developments in software leveraging Artificial Intelligence.