Saeki’s 3D printing robots are set to revolutionize the manufacturing sector through digitalization.

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SAEKI, a Swiss start-up, has just announced a successful seed funding round of $2.3 million. Founded by Andrea Perissinotto, Oliver Harley, and Matthias Leschok in 2021, SAEKI aims to transform the construction sector by combining robotics with 3D printing, machining, and inspection.

In the construction industry, structures are traditionally built using wooden molds that are time-consuming to make and wasteful, as the wood is often discarded once the mold has served its purpose. SAEKI has developed a robot equipped with a 3D printer that can produce molds from recyclable materials. This innovative approach significantly reduces production time and eliminates waste, as the materials can be reused once the mold is no longer needed on-site.

While 3D printing is not a new technology, its use in large-scale manufacturing is still in its early stages. SAEKI has focused on building fully automated factories consisting of independent micro-factories. The company’s vision is to provide its robotics services as a concept known as “as-a-service.” This means that instead of selling the robots outright, customers can book time with them. To achieve this, SAEKI plans to establish multiple hubs closer to its customers’ local markets, reducing the need for long-distance shipping.

SAEKI’s first hub is currently being developed in Switzerland, with the aim of targeting customers in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria initially. However, the company has global ambitions and plans to establish micro-factory hubs in other parts of the world, making it a major player in large-scale digital manufacturing.

While the construction sector is a primary target market, SAEKI also aims to expand its reach to other industries such as aerospace and automotive. These industries also use molds to produce large parts and components, and SAEKI’s robots can adapt to printing materials suitable for these applications. The company’s speed of production is a notable advantage over traditional processes.

SAEKI has spent the past two years collaborating with clients on experimental pilot projects to fine-tune its technology. One significant project is a new pavilion planned for construction in Lausanne, where SAEKI is working with partners such as Holcim, Sika, and Losinger Marazzi. This project showcases the potential of SAEKI’s technology in practical applications.

The recent funding round marks a milestone moment for SAEKI, as it emerges from stealth mode and moves towards increased production capacity. Co-founder Matthias Leschok envisions a future where SAEKI micro-factories autonomously produce complex formwork for construction, fixtures for supersonic jets, and composite molds for the next generation of Formula One cars.

SAEKI’s ambitious goals have garnered support from investors, with Wingman Ventures leading the funding round and support from Vento Ventures, Getty Capital, and several angel investors. Edouard Treccani, Principal at Wingman, believes that SAEKI’s approach to distributed additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize sectors like aerospace and construction through disruptive technology, local production, and sustainable materials.

Overall, SAEKI’s innovative use of robotics and 3D printing in large-scale manufacturing has the potential to transform the construction industry and make a significant impact on other sectors as well. This latest funding round provides a solid foundation for SAEKI to expand its production capacity and pursue even bigger projects in the future.

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