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Canada’s Mosaic Starts Shipping Array and Element 3D Printers

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Mosaic Manufacturing, the Canadian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of high-throughput, multi-material additive manufacturing (AM) platforms, has begun shipping its Array systems to North American customers. The company also plans to begin shipping its Element and Element HT 3D printers in North America beginning on November 16.

After first unveiling the Array 3D printers in early 2021, and successfully completing a six month pilot program for both the Array and Element lines, Mosaic is now moving forward with its first production run. Uniquely, each Array platform is comprised of four embedded Element or Element HT 3D printers, with both the Array and Element platforms leveraging Mosaic’s signature robotic gantry system to keep finished parts moving out and new print beds moving in. This allows the Array, for instance, to operate for over 72 hours without the need for manual intervention.

Mosaic has always made scalability its central selling point, with the company designing the Array specifically to address the throughput challenges typically faced by print farms. Whereas 3D printed parts typically cost the same no matter the scale of output, the automation enabled by Array can increase the productivity of human laborers nearly twentyfold.

In a press release about the shipment of its Array and Element 3D printers in North America, Mosaic’s CEO and co-founder, Mitch Debora, said, “Mosaic’s mission is to bring 3D printing to the factory floor at scale. These successful deployments mark an exciting step in our journey as we ramp up scale significantly for 2024 and beyond. Until now, the use of 3D printing at scale has been blocked by high part costs and challenges scaling capacity. With Array’s range of automation features designed for production volumes, it is exciting to see a wide range of companies reevaluate and move forward with [AM] at scale.”

Connor Reddington, an employee at Lubrizol subsidiary Avid, one of Mosaic’s customers, said, “Array really automates 3D printing by making it a hands off procedure. I can send a print from my computer at home and not have to come into the office at 9 PM — the parts are just sitting there ready for me the next day. Material Pods (Element) close the loop on the automation side by allowing us to run prints un-interrupted, we can start the next print automatically, we can do multiple colors. It really opens up a lot of opportunities for creative design.”

According to Mosaic, the six-month pilot program entailed the shipment of four Array units and over 40 Element/HT printers. The company has also released case studies from three different customers involved in the pilot program: in addition to design engineering firm Avid, mentioned above, the case studies involve IDeATe, a distributed manufacturing network for engineering students, and PolyUnity Tech Inc., a Canadian company that 3D prints personalized medical devices.

Beyond catalyzing the potential for increased scale of output of 3D printed parts, the most exciting aspect of this launch is the sheer fact that it involves a Canadian OEM. Despite the vast implicit potential for AM in the Canadian market, the nation still lags behind other similarly industrialized economies, especially concerning its lack of hardware manufacturers. Any possible expansion that Mosaic undergoes could go a long way towards changing that.

This would be arguably just as beneficial to the US, given the fact that the company’s products are made in Canada. The same factors that have led the most advanced industrialized nations to increasingly incorporate 3D printing have also made them embrace things like reshoring, nearshoring, and friendshoring, and indeed to make 3D printing one of the centerpieces of that supply chain transformation strategy. Especially considering the unique scaling capabilities at hand, Mosaic’s accelerated growth would be a huge boon to the resilience of the newly emerging North American manufacturing ecosystem.

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