Is XTPL the Microscale Maverick of Electronics 3D Printing?

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Polish company XTPL‘s (WSE: XTP) micro-scale printing is keeping the edge in electronics and high-tech applications. At its core, XTPL’s patented 3D printers create ultra-fine conductive patterns for microelectronics, semiconductors, displays, and biosensors in Poland and internationally.

Founded in 2015, XTPL has advanced its proprietary Ultra-Precise Dispensing (UPD) technology, which features an innovative printing head as its core component. This printing head, driven by a unique algorithm, enables the ultra-fine application of conductive materials, creating high-resolution electronic components like those used in flat panel displays, radio frequency (RF) components, and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). According to the brand, UPD can handle high-viscosity materials and create high aspect ratios in a single print pass through nozzles as small as one micrometer in diameter, which is crucial for creating detailed and accurate electronic components.

What’s more, the technology can repair tiny defects, print very fine features, and handle different materials efficiently. It can print intricate circuit patterns and complex shapes on various surfaces, making it suitable for advanced applications in many industries.

Ultra-Precise Dispensing System.

Recently, XTPL’s UPD technology achieved a milestone in high-speed microdot dispensing, reaching a speed of up to 10 dots per second with high precision. This capability has broad applications, proving effective in tasks that require precise and controlled material dispensing. For instance, it is used to assemble electronic components for devices like smartphones and wearables, where adhesives and coatings are applied. In the automotive industry, it helps bond components, seal joints, and provide rust protection. In healthcare, microdot dispensing is crucial for producing medical devices such as catheters, syringes, and diagnostic equipment, guaranteeing precise and consistent application of adhesives, sealants, and biocompatible materials.

The UPD printhead is the core technology of XTPL’s 3D printing machines, the Delta Printing System (DPS), which promises reliable, repeatable, and durable results for high-performance materials. DPS can print high-density interconnections on stacked chips, provide reliable connections for flexible hybrid electronics, and achieve ultra-high resolution, making it suitable for printing on heterogeneous materials and 3D topographies.

XTPL’s Delta Printing System.

As a publicly traded company on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), XTPL’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2024 reflects its growing impact on the market. The company achieved total revenue of PLN 2.9 million ($723,506), with over 90% stemming from selling products and services. This was driven primarily by the delivery of four DPS devices, double the number delivered in the same period the previous year. By the end of the first quarter, its cash position was PLN 19.4 million ($4.8 million) due to investments in key areas like sales, production capacity, and R&D.

The goal is to scale operations to achieve PLN 100 million ($25 million) in sales by 2026. To that end, XTPL has invested significantly in its growth, which helped cut the time required to build DPS devices by half and increased XTPL’s production capacity across all three of its business lines—industrial printing modules, DPS prototyping devices, and nano inks.

“The company’s activities in the first quarter of 2024 centered on intensified investments designed to realize this ambitious development vision and appropriately prepare the Company for the significant increase in revenues from all our three business lines anticipated over the Strategy horizon. We’re now very well prepared for this,” says Filip Granek, CEO of XTPL.

XTPL CEO Filip Granek.

Another strategy that is working for XTPL is strengthening its footprint in the U.S. market. The company has appointed a Managing Director for North America and is preparing to open its first Demo Center in Boston in the second half of 2024.

XTPL’s clientele includes some of the world’s leading manufacturers of next-generation electronics. The company also has a new project, and another is underway as part of a consortium under the European Union’s Horizon Europe program.

Although the names of clients have not been disclosed, XTPL CFO Jacek Olszański told investors that the list features a top semiconductor manufacturer from Taiwan, a leading producer of flat panel displays from South Korea, and a prominent U.S.-based manufacturer of industrial machines listed on the Nasdaq 100.

XTPL goes public on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE).

Although many of the company’s indicators show positive trends, XTPL registered a loss in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the first quarter of the year of PLN 5.1 million ($1.3 million). According to management, the loss reflects the company’s stepped-up investment activities in its strategic plan to scale up the business. While still a loss, Simply Wall St. reported that industry analysts covering XTPL say “breakeven is near,” roughly by the end of 2024. However, if the business grows at a slower rate, it will become profitable at a later date than expected.

“The increase in costs and expenses in the first quarter of 2024 is primarily attributable to investments in scaling up our business. The remaining items include the historically highest recruitment rate with an increase in employment from 53 to 91 staff members at the end of March 2024, including an increase in B2B contracts. Marketing and sales activities increased significantly, including the unveiling and positioning of a new website, as well as activity at international shows and industry conferences,” concluded Olszański.

In the first months of the year, XTPL also incurred costs for building a DPS demonstration device for marketing purposes, rolled out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for process management throughout the organization, and added new lab equipment. With efforts ranging from increasing production capacity to halving DPS development times, XTPL executives say they are well-prepared for what’s coming next.

All images courtesy of XTPL

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