Exclusive Interview: ZMorph CEO Talks 3D Printing & Digital Fabrication at CES 2017

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20170105_105917CES may be the largest trade show in North America, but its impact is truly global as companies — and attendees — from around the world come together each January in Las Vegas to showcase and check out the latest in technology. Highlighting the global focus of this massive event are companies that are stars in their fields, such as Poland’s ZMorph. This company has been on our radar regularly, as the ZMorph 2.0 SX mutli-head desktop manufacturing solution, introduced last April, brings together several technologies into one closed-loop system, enhancing the capabilities of the 2.0 S system that debuted in 2014. Focusing on 3D printing and digital fabrication capabilities for professionals as well as educational users, these high-functioning systems offer a wide range of capabilities right on the desktop. 3DPrint.com’s own Scott Grunewald is currently testing out the 2.0 SX, so we have his hands-on review of the system to look forward to in the near future as well.

This week in Las Vegas, the team from ZMorph has been kept busy on the show floor in the Sands expo area with a well-trafficked booth featuring eye-catching machines and creations. I had the opportunity to speak with ZMorph’s CEO and co-founder, Przemek Jaworski, to learn more about his thoughts on CES and the 2.0 SX, as well as the company’s plans for 2017.

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Przemek Jaworski, ZMorph CEO and Co-Founder, at the company’s CES booth on Thursday

“In my view, this year will be another year where desktop manufacturing machines will be on the rise,” Jaworski told me. “It’s not just 3D printing, we see digital manufacturing as being bigger; we are very aware that the future belongs to robotic object-making. Looking at every technology, they are all intricate processes that are concoctions of clever algorithms and clever software. Software really makes a difference.”

20170105_112011In line with a larger theme in the industry right now, this focus on software will certainly prove key to the future of manufacturing. Jaworski underscored this importance:

“We’ll be seeing more clever software running less clever hardware; the software will push the limit.”

ZMorph is working to push the frontier of what is possible on the software front with their Voxelizer software, as Jaworski told me that the company intends to “push the frontier, push the boundaries of what desktop manufacturing can do, releasing new toolheads, exploring multifuctionality, switching workflows. We believe this is where a lot of companies will be going in the next few years as well.” Jaworski showed me a screenshot from the new interface for Voxelizer software, which ZMorph has shared with us (noting that this is a work-in-progress image, and not the final product):

voxelizer_new_interface_not_final

[Image provided by ZMorph]

Focusing on the software also allows for ZMorph to further expand the capabilities of their machines; Jaworski said that his prediction going forward is that we will be seeing many more machines that allow for making objects with processes that go beyond 3D printing, and more machines that act as five-axis assemblers.

20170105_112004The team at ZMorph works to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry, regularly interacting with customers and potential customers, as well as expanding their reseller base. At the booth, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow Ohioan, as Preet Jesrani, President of DesignBox3D, a Sandusky-based reseller of ZMorph’s machines, illustrating the close relationship between manufacturer and distributor that benefits both companies. ZMorph has been focusing on their reseller base, ensuring global availability of the 2.0 SX since its release, and only adding more availability worldwide as the months have gone by. At CES, ZMorph enjoyed the opportunity to gain closer access to customers in the US, which is an important market for the Polish company; Tomasz Wykowski, Sales Director, additionally told me that after CES the company will soon be announcing new partnerships as the number of resellers in the US continues to increase.

“CES this year is a great experience; we want to get much closer to American customers,” Jaworski explained. “We want our customers to get more familiar with our products, follow new distributors, increase the base of resellers. We see ourselves as a very different entity because we’re not about 3D printing. We’re a platform of different manufacturing techniques and product development.”

Jaworski is the lead product designer behind the innovative 2.0 SX machine; below you can watch him briefly explain the closed-loop system:

With professional uses such as rapid prototyping (featuring selective two-material printing), product design (benefiting from water-soluble support), manufacturing (with advanced color mixing capabilities), and low-volume production (with image mapping), and educational applications including creating in-depth STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) curriculum projects, the ZMorph 2.0 SX digital fabrication system packs quite a punch for any project, right from the desktop. Meeting the team behind this multi-faceted design system at CES certainly drove home the point that this is a company that has a plan — and all the right tools to implement it.

Below are more photos from the company’s booth at CES 2017:

Discuss in the ZMorph Interview forum at 3DPB.com.

[All photos taken by Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]
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