Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Expansion Strategy: 3D Printing Digital Imaging Company In-Vision is Now a Stock Corporation

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Laying the groundwork for further expansion, Austrian optics specialist In-Vision Digital Imaging Optics GmbH has converted into a stock corporation and now operates under the new name In-Vision Technologies AG. The shift will allow the private business to raise money through the sale of stock to finance its portfolio of UV light projectors for industrial 3D printers and light engine systems for its broadening customer base. In recent months, interest in digital imaging technologies has increased, and beginning in 2022, In-Vision will be supplying to customers in five continents, says CEO Hans Florian Zangerl.

“We are now positioning ourselves accordingly,” explains Zangerl. “This week is off to an exciting start for us: last Saturday (October 23, 2021), the transformation of our company into a non-listed stock corporation was entered in the company register. From now on we are called In-Vision Technologies AG, which we appreciate very much!”

The high-tech company based in Guntramsdorf near Vienna, and Boston, Massachusetts in the US, develops and manufactures high-precision optical systems. Its digital light processing (DLP) UV projectors are primarily used for additive manufacturing (AM), bioprinting, 3D metrology, and lithography applications. Over the last year, In-Vision has expanded its portfolio with the release of the powerful Helios light engine for DLP 3D printing and a 4K UV LED light engine for 3D printing it calls Phoenix. Helios and Phoenix join the company’s line of light engines, including Twowave, a UV projector for different wavelengths; Mercury, designed for 3D metrology, scanning, and mapping applications; Ikarus II, which uses blue wavelength illumination for 3D printing applications; and Firebird, a high-intensity light engine for industrial applications.

Light engines based on DLP technology are essential to structured light applications and have become an integral part of many industries. For example, in DLP-based resin printers, a liquid photopolymer is selectively cured by structured light through vat photopolymerization. For this method of stereolithography, a high-precision UV projector from In-Vision can be used. The products printed with the help of In-Vision’s optical engine projectors span from spare parts in industrial applications to pre-forms for jewelry production, everyday household articles, and tissue printing for biomedical applications. According to the business, “this technology is a game-changer for how we think of supply chain today,” as it “literally takes seconds from initial design to a tangible product in your hands.”

In-Vision's new high performance 4K UV Projector

In-Vision’s new high-performance 4K UV Phoenix Projector. Image courtesy of In-Vision.

As part of its growth strategy, In-Vision hired a new management team in January 2021, with Florian Zangerl at the helm. The team will continue growing the market footprint in 3D printing, as well as other industrial applications. At the time, Zangerl said the business would grow further in terms of “volumes, geographies, and areas of application,” especially since he believes the full potential of DLP technology has not yet been fully explored.

Recent expansion initiatives also involved selling technology to Japanese firms, which Zangerl has described as “the biggest challenge for tech companies.” As part of a business alliance with the Japanese Correns Corporation, an importer and exporter of industrial machinery, In-Vision has already sent the first shipment of DLP-based UV light projectors for AM and bioprinting to the East Asian country. The UV light engines are expected to play an important role in accelerating the local development of DLP technology applications.

In-Vision testing its DLP-based technology in house.

In-Vision tests its technology in-house. Image courtesy of In-Vision.

Under its new status as a stock corporation, In-Vision will remain wholly owned by the Cudos Group, a globally active, technology-oriented private equity fund based in Vienna that invests in mid-market buyouts, restructurings, and growth equity deals in German-speaking countries and Central and Eastern Europe. Now that it has greater flexibility to shape further growth, the business will continue to establish its new segment of industrial 4K projectors and help DLP-based 3D printers achieve higher throughput and quality.

As for its financial standing, In-Vision generates more than two-thirds of its revenues with products that are less than two years old. To maintain this innovative capacity and technology leadership on a long-term basis, it is deeply committed to research and development, reinvesting up to 25% of its revenues in R&D initiatives. In fact, with several projects always in the works, it has amassed a large number of national and international research partners, including leading academic institutions and private businesses, which complement research teams and bring in new expertise.

For example, In-Vision has partnered with the Pasteur Institute in France, King’s College London, the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in Austria, and Texas Instruments in the US. In addition, In-Vision has been an approved Texas Instruments DLP design house partner for over a decade, providing the global semiconductor company with engineering and manufacturing services ranging from optics and electronics design to prototyping and serial production.

A few of the ongoing R&D initiatives include ground-breaking work enabling maskless lithography applications at the sub-micron resolution, developing blue and UV laser diode illumination systems, creating hybrid DLP-R, and laser scanning light exposure for additive manufacturing, and revolutionizing data storage solutions through DLP-R technology.

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