You may be as surprised as I am to see Poland emerging as a hotspot not only for 3D printing enthusiasm, but also as a growing hub for 3D printing manufacturers. Serving as the ninth largest country in Europe and boasting a population of nearly 40 million, it would make sense that there is a drive for technology in Poland, however, as well as a growing desire to instill it in the schools. Around the globe, there is also a bit of a race to get to the top first, in what’s become a fiercely competitive industry.
Now, Verashape has come forth as part of an important project subsidized by The National Centre for Research and Development 2014-2020. Their new machine, the VSHAPER, was initiated in light of the need for a globally innovative additive printer, according to the company, which also adds that this project would not have been possible without the special funding, amounting to €2 million (translating to well over $2 million USD), with a total of €2.8 million invested in total.
The work involved in the 3D VSHAPER has been both ongoing and intense, the company reported in their latest press release. With the goal of enhancing FFF 3D printing technology overall, they’ve been working from a factory and production line that is currently based in the Aeropolis Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park.
“It is not a coincidence that our company pursued such an innovative enterprise. It’s simply a continuation of development work on our line of VSHAPER printers as well as willingness to use the experience and knowledge of our constructors in a practical way,” says Tomasz Szymański, founder and CEO of Verashape.
Already on the ground, these new 3D printers are not only in use, but they are said to be widely popular in Poland, Germany, and the US. Exceptionally versatile, the VSHAPER 3D printer can be used in foundries, as well as the automotive, aerospace, and education sectors. Known for producing high-quality prints in an industrial environment, the VSHAPER has received great support so far, and especially from The National Centre for Research and Development. The company expects its greatest value to be both in rapid prototyping and small batch production for now.
Offering a double extruder, two materials can be used during one printing process. This is ultimately something that is going to draw many users as today’s designers are looking for greater options, tired of being limited to one texture and color. This feature allows for designers and engineers to look forward to creating more complex parts and prototypes as well.
“Nowadays, more often than not, market success is determined by how smooth the implementation process of a product is,” says Marcin Szymański, Product Manager for VSHAPER. “Printers allow quick transmission from the project to prototyping and finally to the end product.”
We often report on progressive Polish companies with quite dynamic products like ZMorph and their famed multi-tool 3D printer, now offering the latest release of the ZMorph 2.0 SX Multitool 3D Printer (one that I am actually getting ready to review in the next couple of weeks). Zortrax is another Polish company we have followed continually (and I certainly enjoyed reviewing their M200 3D printer—a machine that worked flawlessly while I was using it) and reported recently on some rather unusual goings on. With that said, it’s certainly wonderful to hear about this positive, well-backed new project emerging from Eastern Europe, with hard work currently going into both further development and the creation of a distribution plan.
Veraxhape also distributes CAD / CAM / CAE software for designers working within industries with a focus on mould and die. The specific sectors include the design and manufacture of plastic injection moulds, sheet metal stamping dies, progressive dies, 2D > 5-axis milling, electrode production, multi-axis laser cutting, wire EDM and more. In terms of 3D printing, they were at first just a three-man team. Soon, they added engineers, programmers, and designers to the mix. Together, they worked on many factors, from the closed chamber to eliminating unpleasant odors. Always with the user in mind, the team used the most innovative applications possible to offer high functionality as well as a user-friendly platform.
Their 3D printers come in numerous models, to include the VSHAPER ONE Light, Single, Double, Pro, and Custom. As an example, the company states the following on their website regarding the VSHAPER ONE Double:
“The application of typical material, such as ABS or PMMA in VSHAPER ONE DOUBLE compared with support material, such as HIPS or PVA lets you create incredibly intricate details of the incomparably, one-material printing, with better precision. The production of such components in a monolithic form with traditional methods of forming or cutting is usually unrealistic. In this way VSHAPER ONE DOUBLE produces objects of shapes limited only by the designer’s imagination.”
Currently they are involved in discussions with resellers from Poland and other countries as well, with Veraxhape reps taking part in a recent business partner conference in Munich and Milan. They will continue in this vein too on a larger scale, preparing to take part in one of the largest tradeshows, to be held soon in Warsaw. This will offer great exposure for the new VSHAPER printer, as well as offering even greater opportunity for business talks regarding distribution.
“Setting up the project creates vast possibilities of cooperation with experts from all over the world,” says Tomasz Szymański. “Increasing the amount of VSHAPER users declares the will to be involved in the development of the device. It is immensely rewarding and satisfying for the entire team.”
See the video below for more insight into this company, and discuss further over in the VSHAPER 3D Printer forum at 3DPB.com.