Ramon Borrell, Chief Technology Officer at Quantica, discusses the possibility of jetting the unjettable in an interview.

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The revolutionary technology of multi-material 3D printing and “ultra-high viscosity” resin processing capability is at the core of Quantica’s value proposition. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Ramon Borrell, the Chief Technical Officer of Quantica, who shared the company’s ambitious plans to establish its groundbreaking technology in the market.

Founded in Berlin five years ago, Quantica has quickly expanded to nearly 60 employees, an impressive number for a startup, showcasing the complex nature of engine and printer development. The company has brought together a team of specialists from Berlin, Barcelona, and Cambridge to overcome the technical challenges associated with inkjet 3D printing. This strategic recruitment approach aims to bypass the steep learning curve and accelerate progress towards achieving their goals.

With a significant portion of their EUR14m Series A funding allocated towards harnessing talent and three filed patent families, Quantica has built a strong asset base. These patents highlight the company’s unique offering in the 3D printing industry, which is the ability to mix multi-materials with high-performance attributes using their proprietary technology. Borrell emphasized that this flexibility and performance can currently only be achieved through Quantica’s inkjet technology, and they expect to maintain this lead in the market for the foreseeable future.

Not only does Quantica’s patented technology allow for the mixing of different fluids, but it also expands the range of properties that can be achieved with these materials. This offers customers a newfound freedom in their printing capabilities. The ability to blend materials with a broad spectrum of properties sets Quantica apart in a competitive market and opens up a new world of possibilities in 3D printing.

Borrell delved further into the technical intricacies of Quantica’s 3D printing technology, highlighting its divergence from industry norms. While many companies focus on achieving higher nozzle density for higher resolution, Quantica prioritizes formulation flexibility. Their technology allows for ultra-high viscosity jetting with a lower nozzle count and density, made possible by an innovatively designed actuator. This actuator creates a deflection in the chamber that is “100 times larger than conventional” ones, enabling the jetting of materials with previously unattainable viscosities in the industry.

Quantica defines ultra-high viscosity as the range starting where traditional high viscosity ends, extending from 100 millipascal second (mPa·s) or centipoise (cP) to 400 mPa·s. This range encompasses hundreds of materials that are of interest for 3D printing. The company also pushes the boundaries in particle size, with the ability to jet particle suspensions up to 70% with a particle size of 0.1 – 5 microns. This capability is particularly valuable for the electronics industry.

The expanded materials palette offered by Quantica’s technology has already sparked collaborations, such as a project with a dental company. They aim to utilize Quantica’s technology to print dentures using materials that were previously challenging to work with, marking a significant advancement in material application in the 3D printing field. This innovation opens up possibilities for advanced manufacturing in electronics, enabling the combination of conductive, insulating, and encapsulant materials in a single process to create active electronic components or circuits.

Quantica has its sights set on a multifaceted market with its pioneering 3D printing technology. By prioritizing formulation flexibility and pushing the boundaries in viscosity and particle size, the company aims to revolutionize the possibilities of 3D printing. The team at Quantica envisions a future where their technology enables advancements in various industries, from healthcare to electronics, and beyond.

Overall, Quantica’s groundbreaking technology and unique selling proposition have positioned the company as a game-changer in the 3D printing industry. With their talented team and innovative approach, they are poised for continued growth and success in the market.

Revolutionizing the Market: Quantica’s Journey of Innovation in 3D Printing

Quantica, a leading player in the 3D printing industry, is making waves with its groundbreaking technology. While estimating the market potential remains a complex task due to the early stage of application development, industry experts highlight the vast opportunities that lie ahead.

One segment that holds immense promise is the dental sector. Analysts draw comparisons to Align Technology, a company that has surpassed the entire 3D printing industry in market capitalization by focusing on dental applications. However, the limitation in materials has hindered the widespread adoption of 3D printing in dentistry.

Quantica aims to overcome this roadblock by developing advanced materials that meet the high technical requirements of the dental industry. CEO Javier Borrell acknowledges the complexity of the solution, noting that there is still a significant amount of work left to be done to achieve market readiness after the initial invention. The development process involves coordination across various disciplines, including software, firmware, electronics, and materials, highlighting the multifaceted expertise required for success.

To address the issue of lower productivity, Quantica has outlined its technical milestones, focusing on increasing nozzle count and jetting frequency. This strategic pivot is expected to bring significant improvements in productivity within a two-year timeframe. The company aims to rival existing 3D printing solutions in terms of precision and system accuracy, especially in working with high-viscosity photopolymers.

Moreover, Quantica’s value proposition lies in its multi-material capability. Borrell emphasizes that using different materials is essential for achieving high aesthetics and complex functionality. The company aims to dispel industry skepticism by demonstrating the indispensability of multi-material printing.

Another advantage of Quantica’s technology is cost-efficiency. By enabling the printing of both the form and support material, the company significantly reduces post-processing expenses, resulting in notable cost and time savings. A case study cited by Borrell revealed that producing with Quantica’s inkjet multi-material was half the cost compared to using traditional DLP technology.

Quantica’s first product, the NovoJet OPEN, is set to launch in November 2023. This printer is capable of handling up to seven different materials, making it an ideal tool for research and development departments, industry developers, and material manufacturers. The company plans to introduce configurations specifically tailored for different applications, including multi-color and high-performance materials.

Looking ahead, Quantica envisions launching a dental printer by 2025, co-branded with a partner. The CEO describes it as a “very, very big event” that signifies the company’s growth and expansion. While high-volume manufacturing and series production are long-term goals, Quantica is open to collaborations with industry players to achieve these ambitions.

The conversation with Borrell also touched upon the T1 Pro, a phased-out product that continues to serve as an in-house tool for Quantica. This highlights the company’s pragmatic approach to product development, where even unsuccessful ventures can contribute to the overall progress.

Quantica’s strategy to outpace rivals in the 3D printing market demonstrates its commitment to innovation and advancement. With its technical roadmap and focus on multi-material capability, the company is positioning itself as a leader in the industry. As the market continues to evolve, Quantica’s pioneering technology is set to revolutionize various sectors and unlock new possibilities.

The 3D printing industry continues to grow and evolve, and Quantica is determined to maintain its unique position in the multi-material jetting market. With competitors like Stratasys, Mimaki, and 3D Systems on their heels, Quantica’s Chief Technology Officer, Ramon Borrell, recently discussed the company’s tactics in an interview.

Borrell emphasized the importance of staying ahead of the game, saying, “By the time somebody finds a way to enter with a high viscosity jetting, we want to be into the second or third generation.” This forward-thinking approach is key to Quantica’s success.

In order to navigate the complex nature of inkjet technology, the company made a deliberate decision to partner with Xaar Manufacturing. This partnership allows Quantica to leverage Xaar’s state-of-the-art facilities and production engineering expertise. Borrell acknowledged that starting from scratch would have taken too much time, stating, “It would take many, many years until we can put that [product] in the industry.”

Quantica has big plans for expansion on a global scale. Initially focusing on Europe, the company aims to swiftly enter the Americas and potentially Asia. In fact, an upcoming trip to Japan demonstrates Quantica’s commitment to understanding different market landscapes and identifying strategic partnerships.

Borrell’s insights paint a picture of a pioneering company poised to unlock multi-dimensional market prospects with its unique 3D printing technology. Quantica’s methodical approach to overcoming technical challenges and its ambitious vision for tapping into lucrative niches sets a precedent in the additive manufacturing landscape.

Looking ahead, the future of 3D printing holds tremendous potential. Over the next decade, the industry will face numerous engineering challenges in the additive manufacturing sector. From improving speed and accuracy to exploring new materials and applications, there is much to be accomplished.

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The featured image showcases Quantica’s CTO, Ramon Borrell, who plays a crucial role in driving the company’s innovative advancements. Photo via Quantica.

Original source: 3D Printing Industry

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