3D metal printing pioneer XJet gets $25m investment from Catalyst Investments and AutodeskMar. 6, 2016
Metal could be the big boost 3D printing needs to make it in the industrial world, according to Eitan Tsarfati, CEO of Autodesk Israel’s research and development center – which is why Autodesk (via its through its Spark Investment Fund), together with Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL, has invested $25 million in Rehovot-based XJet.
For Catalyst, the investment in XJet could foster nothing less than a manufacturing revolution, said Yair Shamir, a managing partner of the fund and the new chairman of XJet.
“A fund like ours, which works with Western and Chinese investors, can help bring this technology to China, where a 3D manufacturing revolution will profoundly affect the world.”
XJet uses nanotechnology to create special metal liquids that, with its 3D metal printing technology, can create unique items on the fly.
The XJet system uses nanoparticles in liquid suspension to build metal parts – far different from the laser-based systems currently in use.
3D printing until now has been used chiefly to create prototypes for products, mostly using forms of plastic (ABS, PLA), while competing metal 3D printing technologies (SLS, selective laser sintering) require manual “finishing,” especially for complex components.
The current round of funding will be used to complete the development of XJet products and launch them into main international markets.
The investors in previous rounds included Gemini Israel Ventures, Landa Ventures, Applied Materials, Good Energies and Chinese investors. In 2014, the company raised an additional $22 million from Alumot and from existing shareholders to complete the changes in direction of the technology from solar to 3D metal printing.