With 3D printing technology that is less expensive, easier to use and more scalable than anything available before, Calt Dynamics in Wicklow believes it can shake up the world of global manufacturing.
The technology called Physical Mask Curing allows for industrial-scale 3D printing of anything from electric car parts and furniture to moulds for batch production of smaller items.
Set to be launched on the market at the end of the year, the technology can be used to produce larger batches than were previously possible with 3D. According to Calt (Computer-Aided Life Technology) chief executive and co-founder Ross Lawless, it will make 3D printing more cost-effective for manufacturers and also make in-house production possible.
“As a decentralising technology which involves lower costs than other systems, it lowers the barrier to a manufacturing company and opens up a whole range of new possibilities for goods manufacture,” he said.
Small scale manufacture of tools and equipment is now feasible and Calt has initial plans to use the technology in a project in rural India that’s funded by Stanley Black & Decker, one of its investors.
This involves a 3D printer which can print medical equipment, farming tools and a range of plastic components on demand in a low cost but reliable way.
But the commercial launch of the technology will start in the US with large manufacturing companies to make car parts, furniture, and medical equipment.
Mr Lawless was joined at Calt, which stands for was joined by co-founder Irene Villafane. They believe that the technology can also be used to improve the living standards in emerging markets. “Decentralising food production offers the opportunity for safer and more efficient use of resources,” said Ms Villafane.
Techstars, Stanley Black & Decker, Enterprise Ireland, US investment company CT Innovations “and some incredible angel investors” have helped fund Calt, Mr Lawless said.