Xolo, the developer of the first commercial volumetric 3D printer, announced that it has successfully closed its latest Series A funding round, raising a total of €8 million ($8.6 million). This comes on the heels of a successful €2.5 million ($2.7 million) seed round in 2021 and follows the unveiling of its proprietary printers called Xube and xolography technology, a revolutionary new method to print any design in seconds.
Co-led by German and Austrian venture capital firms HZG Group and Onsight Ventures, Miami-based B2B tech investor SquareOne and the recently launched German fund for deep tech and climate tech growth-stage companies, the DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF), the funds will support xolo’s vision to “transform the 3D printing industry through the use of its revolutionary new xolography process.” The money will also ensure that the startup is well-equipped to expand and serve more cutting-edge academic and industrial research and development groups, as well as enter its first industrial market in the not-too-distant future.
Optimal 3D printing
Developed at the Technology Park Berlin Adlershof (Germany’s most modern science and technology park and one of Berlin’s future destinations) by Xolo founders Martin Regehly, Stefan Hecht, and Dirk Radzinski, the printing process is based on a cuvette with liquid resin continuously moving through a light sheet, into which an additional light projection is focused. According to the founders, by enriching the liquid resin with photoactive specialty chemicals developed by xolo – otherwise called photoinitiators – final intricate components can be made in mere seconds and with smooth surfaces.
Discussing the revolutionary process, xolo co-founder and CEO Dirk Radzinski said, “Xolography represents a fundamental shift in the 3D printing industry. From hardware to materials, everything is being rethought. Our investors understand the importance of this paradigm shift and support us with their financial strength, expertise, and network towards making it a success.”
Unlike conventional 3D printing processes, which use layered generation techniques, Xolography is a volumetric printing method that eliminates the need for a layer concept entirely. Furthermore, xolo claims its new process has a resolution of roughly ten times more than computed axial lithography without feedback optimization. It also uses materials that did not previously serve the 3D printing industry.
Aiming to achieve a breakthrough with the novel technology of Xolography, xolo hopes to open up entirely new fields of applications for 3D printing, including organ reproduction in medical technology and high-precision lens creation for the optical industry, as well as applications in other sectors like dental and acoustics. The Xube, the world’s first volumetric 3D printer from xolo, is already being used by researchers, and developments are underway regarding industrial printers for the optics and biomaterials industries.
“Xolography significantly improves the resolution and volume generation rate of previous processes,” explained Frank Carsten Herzog, managing partner of the HZG Group. “This means that in the future, the process will be able to produce large numbers of highly detailed objects in a short time – the economic potential is enormous.”
As the DTCF’s first investment ever, the Berlin-based 3D printing startup xolo is a great fit, mainly since the new fund focuses its investments on the capital-intensive growth phase of companies and aims to develop the technology champions of the future.
Financed with up to one billion Euros (roughly 1.1 billion dollars) from the German federal government’s Future Fund (better known as “Zukunftsfonds”) and the ERP Special Fund, DTCF will help build upcoming European tech startups.
DTCF’s Co-CEO, Elisabeth Schrey, was among the first to announce the investment. In a social media post, the industrial engineer suggests: “We want to help xolo’s team around Dirk Radzinski, Stefan Hecht, and Martin Regehly to achieve a breakthrough in additive manufacturing and commercialize new fields of application. I am very much looking forward to seeing xolo grow and add value to the production of the future.”
Schrey’s Co-Managing Director, Tobias Faupel, added that xolo has all the prerequisites to become a future market leader in 3D printing. With its first investment, DeepTech & Climate Fonds aims to enable the transition of xolo’s revolutionary 3D printing technology to industrial-scale use. If successful, companies like xolo could help overcome some of the challenges of the AM industry and help scale the 3D printing revolution.
In fact, ensuring that 3D printing processes become a robust tool for repeatable parts at scale was among the discussion points during several panels, talks, and keynotes at the Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) 2023 annual 3D printing event in New York. During the 3-day summit, experts from renowned AM companies worldwide discussed the industry’s past, present, and future. This year, in particular, Germany’s unique influence was central to the event, which included leading venture capital fund AM Ventures and plenty of other companies, all of them part of the evolving 3D printing ecosystem of the country.
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