AMS Spring 2023

NEXTFACTORY 3D Printing Center to Be Opened by Nexa3D and Henkel

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Nexa3D has done what many 3D printer manufacturers have decided to do: open a customer center. The NEXTFACTORY in Ventura, California, established with German chemical company Henkel, is its first full scale additive manufacturing (AM) customer center and allows customers to understand and obtain assistance with every aspect of the 3D printing process. Co-located with the Nexa3D headquarters, the facility will also serve as a future site for partnerships dedicated to automation, process, and material development.

Together, Henkel and Nexa3D will develop end-to-end production workflows for customers looking to increase the scale of process development, choose and optimize materials, and design and obtain product lines. The companies suggest that the site was driven by demand for 3D printing from the mobility, footwear, general industry, and health verticals.

“The Center is designed to help customers across the entire additive process and accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing in their business, regardless of where they are on their journey,” explained Simon Mawson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of 3D Printing at Henkel. “Customers will benefit from hands-on training and the ability to pilot their own production requirements, enabling them to realize the full potential of additive manufacturing and leverage the combined functional materials, validated workflows and 3D printing expertise that Henkel and Nexa3D have to offer.”

Customers interested in moving to large-scale digital production can visit the facility to understand and leverage such design optimization tools as part consolidation and light-weighting, as well as software like manufacturing execution systems, and post-processing automation technologies. The partners will also be able to direct customers toward functional materials, with specific material properties in mind, and provide color matching and finishing options.

Avi Reichental, co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Nexa3D, elaborated on the type of work a customer might be able to perform at the center:

“For example, customers can come to the center with a prototype product, and we will collaborate with them to design and build a pilot production proof of concept. We will then work with them to develop a turnkey solution with the best system, tailored materials and post processing equipment for their application. By working with us, customers will better understand how to industrialize their processes while improving product quality and supply chain sustainability.”

These centers are particularly helpful for such new technologies as those being developed in our industry. Stratasys recently opened a new site for its PolyJet process, while ExOne has relied on similar centers for some time. They allow those interested in 3D printing processes to learn hands-on and with the guidance of experienced professionals how the technology works and its various advantages, as well as how, when and where AM makes the most sense.

Nexa3D, in particular, is growing at a rapid pace, meaning that the NEXTFACTORY could be ideal for showcasing these processes which have only recently been released to market. This includes the NXE fast-curing photopolymer printer series, as well as the QLS powder bed fusion series described as running faster than similar systems. As the startup continues to grow, Nexa3D and Henkel plan to open two more centers, another in North America as well as in Europe, by the end of 2022.

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