Axtra3D Welcomes 3D Systems Vet Rajeev Kulkarni as Chief Strategy Officer


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In a strategic move to bolster its leadership team, Axtra3D, Inc., an emerging frontrunner in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, has announced the appointment of Rajeev Kulkarni as the new Chief Strategy Officer. This appointment, effective from March 4, 2024, underscores the company’s commitment to steering sustainable growth as its advanced 3D printing technologies gain traction globally.

Rajeev Kulkarni, a renowned figure in the 3D printing sector, brings to Axtra3D a wealth of experience and a proven track record of innovation and leadership. His illustrious career in the field dates back to the early 1990s, marked by significant executive roles, including his recent tenure as the Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD). Kulkarni is celebrated for his extensive expertise encompassing technical, business, and strategic aspects of 3D printing, combined with his entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated through the co-founding of two angel funds.

Axtra3D’s Hybrid PhotoSynthesis 3D Printing

Axtra3D’s Hybrid PhotoSynthesis (HPS) technology represents a significant advancement in the field of vat photopolymerization, combining the best features of digital light processing (DLP) and stereolithography (SLA). This unique approach uses a DLP engine for curing internal cross-sections of the print, while a precision laser delineates the borders, achieving high-resolution details and superior surface quality. This integration not only enhances the efficiency and speed of the 3D printing process but also maintains an industrial-grade build area, making it suitable for a variety of applications.

One of the standout features of HPS technology is its ability to significantly speed up the printing process without compromising the quality of the output. By eliminating the need for post-print finishing, HPS technology reduces the overall time from design to final product. This results in a superior surface finish directly out of the printer, eliminating common issues such as aliasing and stair-stepping, and supports continuous printing with nearly isotropic part performance. These are just a couple of benefits of Axtra3D’s technology, alongside the firm’s Intelli-Cartridge system and TruLayer Technology, discussed in greater detail in an interview with Chief Revenue Officer Paul Spoliansky.

From 3D Systems to Axtra3D

Axtra3D’s CEO Gianni Zitelli says of the company’s new Chief Strategy Officer, “Rajeev, as a pioneering innovator, played a pivotal role in the invention of multiple 3D printing platforms. His wealth of experience in 3D printing, spanning R&D leadership, business creation, and M&A activities, positions him as a crucial leader for Axtra3D as it continues to innovate and offer cutting-edge 3D printing solutions for industrial and healthcare professionals. Rajeev’s proficiency in applying 3D printing technologies and business strategies to facilitate distinctive applications is poised to make a substantial contribution to Axtra3D’s growth.”

In his new role, Kulkarni is tasked with spearheading strategic planning, corporate and business development, product-market fit, and forming partnerships, all aimed at cultivating Axtra3D’s growth strategy.

“Axtra3D’s technology marks a noteworthy advancement in SLA technology by seamlessly integrating throughput, part fidelity, and print reliability. It achieves this without necessitating a compromise in any of these aspects across diverse applications. The technology’s versatility in industrial and healthcare applications, coupled with the innovative spirit of the team, played pivotal roles in influencing my decision to join this organization,” says Kulkarni.

Axtra3D CSO Rajeev Kulkarni

Axtra3D has been expanding its footprint since opening its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 2023. The company’s operational reach extends globally with a subsidiary in Vicenza, Italy, positioning it to address the growing demand for high-quality, reliable, and fast 3D printing solutions in dental, medical, and industrial applications.

Given that Kulkarni’s previous employer, 3D Systems, has significant business in the dental space, via Align Technologies, it’s interesting to note that this segment is of importance to Axtra3D. The seasoned executive may bring with him some key insight from his preceding role, which could give the startup a leg up. It’s also worth mentioning that Axtra3D has partnered with 3D Systems in the past on dental applications, so there may be something mutually beneficial in seeing Kulkarni join the startup’s team. After all, Axtra3D’s COO, Praveen Tummala, is a former Senior Materials Engineer at 3D Systems.

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