Alessio Lorusso, CEO & Founder of Roboze, built the first “beltless” 3D printer dedicated to SMEs around the world when he was just 17. At the end of 2018, the company received its first round private investment of €3 million. His goal is realising high-tech 3D printing solutions accessible to support the acceleration of Industry 4.0 with an offer of super-polymers for the production of finished parts and metal replacement. Roboze solutions have been chosen by the top players in the worldwide AM sector, such as GE Global Research, Airbus, Elbyt System, Bosch, and others, for applications in the aerospace, defense and motorsport industries. Manufactur3D Magazine caught up with this entrepreneur and visionary to know more about his company and his thoughts on the Additive Manufacturing Industry
Q Can you briefly share the journey of Roboze? What are some of the recent developments at Roboze?
A: Roboze was born in 2013 around one vision: to produce advanced FFF AM printers for high strength and high-temperature techno-polymers, specifically designed for extreme applications. In only five years we developed our company, our solutions, and our skills thanks to a strong and passionate team. Currently, our offer includes 5 different printers and 12 high technical materials.
In particular, after Roboze’s presentation of Argo 500, cutting-edge technology capable of printing finished parts in 500 x 500 x 500 mm with high-temperature materials and carbon fiber loaded, last November we launched our new Xtreme series. Designed to combine the experience and the technology of the previous series, this desktop/production line is an important moment for Roboze because it creates a point of contact between Roboze desktop versions One and Roboze One + 400 and the Argo 500 printer.
Our patented Beltless System evolved thanks to specific processing that increases the precision (15 micron) and the corrosion and wear resistance, with the advantage of a long lifetime of the machine.
Q What can you tell us about the future of materials? PEEK is a good alternative to metal but are there any more such new emerging materials?
A: Our main focus and strength are high temperature and high-performance materials, like PEEK, able to guarantee great thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance at very high temperature so; as a consequence, it is suitable also for metal replacement applications.
However, our specialisation is also on composites. We are currently developing new materials made by the combination of multiple properties, like for example our Carbon PEEK, that offers the amazing mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of PEEK with the extraordinary strength provided by the carbon fiber. Moreover, we are going to launch a new amazing high-temperature material in the coming months.
Q A lot of established FFF 3D printer manufacturers have shut their operations in the past few years (Ex: Printrbot, Type A Machines, New Matter, Solidoodle). What keeps your company going?
A: Roboze offers something different and unique. Our specialization is the result of a deep analysis of the industries needs, which asked to add the advantages of FFF 3D printing technology with all the benefits of exclusive polymers like PEEK and CARBON PA. The opportunity to produce finished and functional structural components with FFF technology, with the advantages of Metal Replacement – weights reduction, low maintenance, more complex geometries – while optimizing the production processes of companies in sectors like aerospace or motorsport, for example, is an opportunity that creates value and competitive advantages, also reducing costs and time in comparison with traditional methods.
Moreover, what distinguishes us is the precision of our solutions, thanks to our patented Beltless System that guarantees a mechatronic precision up to 10 micron (in the production solution), and our innovative patent pending HVP extruder, able to print high vistosity polymers, that are very hard to extrude.
Q: Roboze, it seems, is more focussed towards R&D. What can you tell us about your R&D efforts and some of your popular projects?
A: Roboze works together with its customers in collaborative way-by gathering feedback, looking at the challenges its customers are facing, identifying key issues they are trying to solve, to ultimately using this data to drive innovative solutions. Our R&D team is composed of skilled engineers that share the same vision: designing and producing the best professional and industrial 3D printers for extreme applications through continuous product innovation to deliver tangible and competitive advantages for our customers in terms of precision, flexibility, customization, and affordability. Thanks to the collaboration with our scientific partners we are obtaining great results also in terms of materials engineering.
Q Roboze systems are described as ‘Desktop Production’ systems, do you feel the end-users are using it for end-use applications? Or a lot of end-users still see 3D printing as a prototyping tool?
A: Roboze’s goal is getting 3D printing from support for rapid prototyping to functional production. Apart from this, thanks to our solutions, it is possible to realize high strength components and functional end-use parts, suitable even for Metal replacement applications.
Our focus is on those sectors that need high-performance functional parts, with high mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties, like Aerospace, Automotive, Motorsport, Defense, Oil & Gas, and Manufacturing.
Q We see a lot of marketing campaigns on LinkedIn for Roboze and we feel that Roboze is entering the Indian market, what do you have to say about this?
A: In India’s 3D printers market, 3D printers have been used primarily in medical, architecture, automotive, industrial, aerospace & military applications, which are the main industries Roboze is focused on.
Q What are your thoughts on the Indian 3D Printing Industry? Any plans to launch Roboze in India?
A: The market for 3D printers in India is at its first stage; however offers huge growth opportunities in the coming years as we’ve noticed that many Indian companies are approaching 3D printing and are interested in developing this kind of business, so we do have a plan to expand Roboze technology in that area, to stimulate their interest and make them aware of our potentialities.
In our Experts Q&A section, Abhimanyu Chavan, Director at Manufactur3D Magazine, interviews industry leaders from the Additive Manufacturing community and gain insights from them on the 3D printing technology, the developments in the global 3D printing industry, and also on India’s 3D printing industry in particular.