3D Startup Africa: Interview with Hein Moller from TiziriTech

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Hein Moller

Hein Moller is the director of TiziriTech, a South Africa-based company that offers Advanced Manufacturing consulting services. The main focus of service includes Additive Manufacturing training, the supply of titanium powders, metal printers and surface finishing equipment and also research and development, analysis and project planning. Moller is responsible for the operations and smooth running of the company and ensures that the company delivers quality services to its clients.

Moller holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Metal), Masters in Engineering (Metal) and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering all from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is also a part-time Lecturer Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at University of Pretoria since 2018.

Moller talked with us about his company and their services in the 3D printing sector and also shares his thoughts on the future of the sector from an African and global perspective.

Who is Tiziritech?

TiziriTech offers Advanced Manufacturing Consulting Services.

Through strategic partnerships with selected service providers, we offer the client the best technologies for their specific needs.

We also have a strong focus on research and development, as well as human capital development.

The word “Tiziri”​means “Moonlight”​ in the Berber (Amazigh) language, which is spoken in North Africa. Although TiziriTech is proudly South African, TiziriTech works with a global perspective. We supply services to clients worldwide, but especially across the African continent.

Tiziri Additive Manufacturing brochure

What are you doing in in 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing?

TiziriTech has a strong industrial focus (additive manufacturing), but acknowledges the importance of the consumer focus of 3D printing too.

TiziriTech is involved in the full value chain of additive manufacturing, from metal powder supply to post-processing.

We are the agents of Pyrogenesis, a Canadian company that manufactures plasma atomised metal powders. We also represent Formalloy from the USA for laser metal deposition and Gefertec from Germany for Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). Post-processing, such as surface finishing, is of critical importance in additive manufacturing and we, therefore, represent Mass Finishing Incorporated from the USA too.

Skills development is a necessity and Additive Manufacturing training is needed. The Barnes Group Advisors from the USA is a global Additive Manufacturing Engineering Consultancy working toward industrializing the technology. TiziriTech has the exclusive license to use the Barnes Group Advisors’ training materials to facilitate onsite training workshops for customers in Africa and the Middle East.

Malika Khodja from TiziriTech is the South African ambassador for the global organisation “Women in 3D Printing”. We believe women have a crucial role to play in this field.

What interesting projects did you work on?

I was involved for 2 years at the National Laser Centre on Project Aeroswift, which is the largest laser powder bed fusion machine in the world. During that time I supervised 4 Master student projects on high laser power and high-speed additive manufacturing of titanium alloys.

I am currently also involved with projects on corrosion behaviour of AM AlSi10Mg components.

Do you have any expansion plans in place and to what extent?

TiziriTech wants to expand to grow additive manufacturing in Africa in particular. We are a start-up, but through collaboration with relevant companies, we can grow. There is a need for using AM in the biomedical industry to improve the quality of life of many people.

The aging infrastructure over the continent can be maintained or repaired using directed energy deposition and will be useful for high value components. We also want to contribute to training of engineers in Africa and the Middle-East. We have identified the tooling industry, as well as oil & gas to be of importance in Africa, but there are also opportunities in automotive, aerospace, defence, agriculture, fashion and many more.

What is your global forecast in metal additive manufacturing in terms of cost and global outreach?

Metal AM will certainly grow at a rapid rate. The processes will become faster and cheaper. New technologies are being developed and announced that will offer new applications. More material compositions will become available, especially for the powder processes. An important step will also be the development of more material compositions that are specifically designed to be used for AM. We will also see more large companies enter the market, such as we have seen recently with Xerox and HP for instance. We will see more skilled people in terms of design for AM, which will make metal AM more suitable for cost effective industrial applications. Expectations of what metal AM can do will become more realistic and more people in industry will realise that it won’t replace conventional manufacturing.

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