AMS Spring 2023

Startup Accelerator, Singapore: Custom Goods and Food 3D Printing

6K SmarTech

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In this article in our series, we will be looking at some more 3D printing startups in Singapore. Stimulated by NAMIC, the country aims to be a 3D printing hotspot and it seems like it may actually work.

Factorem

Factorem is a firm that offers a quoting platform for custom goods. It allows you to quote from CNC, 3D printing and sheet metal services. Approved platform partners are given access to customers and Factorem takes a cut.

Similar to Fictiv, the company could do well if it achieves critical mass or manages to specialize. Everyone in the 3D printing space is going for volume and global reach at the moment. Of course, they see that Shapeways is going public, Xometry is doing the same and Protolabs bought Hubs, so many consider this to be a war of attrition now. Will it be that, a pure scale play where the giants battle it out? Or will new companies have room to maneuver, find a niche and do things better somehow?

There are plenty of niches that are gigantic and unexplored. Take something like an idea for a 3D printing service for maritime or a platform just for the medical market. To me, these represent huge opportunities that are insulated from the scale and scope wars that are ensuing. So far, we can’t really know much about Factorem or what it will bring. However, it’s entering a tough market, but one with lots of opportunities still to explore.

MagicMon

MagicMon is a custom and bespoke product making platform. You can have unique goods designed or get your name on a pen. On the one hand, this is a play aimed at the traditional merchandising market, but it could very well usher in and use a lot of 3D printing mass customisation. The company offers scalable services, an easy UI, and a chipper design.

What I like about it is that one could very easily capture a lot of value as influencers, micro brands, or memes go viral through a platform like MagicMon. You work with Shelly, who made a logo t-shirt. She does the right dance at the right time and 100,000 people want her t-shirt. If you do scale and you can manage such explosions well, then this could be a great market. But, even if YouTubers or podcasts were very niche, on aggregate, ten fans here and five there can really add up. Of course, there are many traditional firms that do similar things and also online companies such as Spreadshirt. MagicMon could really differentiate itself through engaging young firms and new creators, but it remains to be seen if they can displace the current corporate gifts and merchandising markets.

Anrich3D

Anrich3D is a food 3D printing startup. Spinach with rosemary, chicken curry, sweet potato with food coloring are all bases for pastes that can be extruded in various shapes. The Anrich 3D printer can deposit multiple materials and has been in development since 2020. The company hopes to offer personalized nutrition by making healthy foods that are tailored to your personal nutrition needs.

The idea is laudable and will be a huge market. Just think of the millions of hospital meals consumed each day and how patients would benefit from tailored nutrition. Nutrition for a specific disease stage, low salt intake, optimized sizes, easier to swallow portions, easier for patients with dementia are all huge opportunities. Think also of medicated foods that make it easier for people to take their medications. Or think of foods that are specifically designed to evoke flavors or tastes from your youth to give you comfort. Think of the logistical challenge of institutional meals with many different permutations and we can begin to grasp the immense opportunities here. At the moment the output of the printer doesn’t look very appetizing but hopefully that will change.

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3D Printed Food

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