Introducing Rosotics: The Pioneer of the World’s Largest Metal 3D Printer

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US-based startup Rosotics specializes in the development of 3D equipment, with a particular focus on metal additive manufacturing. Its goal? To offer manufacturers the largest metal 3D printer ever imagined on today’s market. Called the M1, this manufacturing platform offers impressive build volumes – ranging from two meters in diameter to 10 meters in height. It is capable of designing parts as imposing as fairings or tanks, meeting the requirements of sectors such as aerospace, maritime and energy. We spoke with its CEO, Christian LaRosa, to find out more about how this machine works and Rosotics’ ambitions.

3DN: Could you introduce yourself and Rosotics?

Hi, I’m Christian. I’m the CEO and Product Architect of Rosotics, a venture-backed industrial robotics and manufacturing R&D corporation developing and operating large-scale metal additive manufacturing systems for the production of massive structural hardware (such as the tanks, domes, fairings, and interstage of rockets). Our system, the M1, is deployed as the largest commercially available metal 3D printer in the world, serving in the aerospace, energy, and marine industries.

3DN: Why did you decide to create Rosotics?

Rosotics was founded with the clear purpose of enhancing the functionality of 3D printing in heavy industry. We have seen substantial progress in our industry at a smaller scale over the past ten years, transforming the process of manufacturing parts and components. We strongly believe that it’s essential for the large-scale sector to also utilize the capabilities that 3D printing offers, especially with regards to the everyday materials and performance thresholds. Accordingly, we created a platform specifically designed to provide this functionality.

3DN: Can you provide more details about your manufacturing platform? What sets it apart?

The term ‘large-scale’ is interpreted differently by various companies in the additive manufacturing sector. However, for us, the definition is crystal clear – we don’t just print ‘parts’, but also ‘structures’. This is possible because our system functions at an extremely high mass flow rate, which enables the printing of very heavy hardware. We are proud to offer our platform, the M1, which is the biggest commercially available metal 3D printer globally. It can print from just 2 meters in diameter to well over 10 meters in height and diameter.

At the core of our service is a self-constructed induction-based technique; abstaining from any laser usage, this enables a vastly improved volumetric print speed while requiring much lower infrastructure and power. Our Rapid Induction Mass Extreme (RIME) method makes use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) wire feedstock, eliminating any need for hazardous powdered metals, yet preserving an aerospace-grade performance.

The M1 manufacturing platform

3DN: What sectors are you targeting?

The M1 is crafted to offer the ability to additively manufacture not merely aerospace hardware, but also for wind turbines, marine vessels, or any other sufficiently challenging metal structure usually made by machining or forging. Our platform is fit to cater to most or all primary structural production of these scales in one automated platform, a capability typically catered to by multiple independent tooling systems.

3DN: How do you see metal AM in the next 10 years?

Many consider 3D printing as an industry that had ‘peaked’ several years ago, when this is not the case. The benefit of 3D printing has not been realized yet; that is when you are able to accelerate what was traditionally 3–4 years of testing campaigns predicated on very long bespoke lead times, down to under a year. What this industry will allow, upon the emergence of accessible large-scale print capabilities, is a form of manufacturing optimization not seen since the days of Henry Ford and the first assembly line.

3DN: Any last words for our readers?

We value builders. If you strive to build, or are already working on a breakthrough product that could be accelerated from M1, we would love to be in touch. You can find out more about Rosotics HERE.

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