BCN3D spins out Supernova – A New Company Born from Viscous Lithography Manufacturing Unit

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Supernova is a new company born from Viscous Lithography Manufacturing Unit
Supernova is a new company born from Viscous Lithography Manufacturing Unit/Source: BCN3D Technologies

BCN3D Technologies, a leading 3D printing solutions manufacturer, announced that it carved out its Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) business unit into a new company named Supernova, in Q4 2023. This new company was founded in the United States and will have offices in Austin, Texas, and Barcelona, Spain.

Supernova is not a subsidiary of BCN3D; rather, the two entities are completely separate, and there have been no further ties between them since the carve-out.

Supernova spin-off of BCN3D’s VLM Business Unit

Introducing Supernova/Source: BCN3D Technologies

Supernova’s vision is to elevate products through advanced technologies, including its groundbreaking VLM technology. Supernova enables real-world production applications by offering solutions that combine quality, productivity, and a competitive cost per part.

BCN3D’s mission is to empower innovators to shape the future by making industrial additive manufacturing (AM) more accessible. The company focuses on helping engineers improve product design through functional prototyping and factory operations with tooling, jigs, and fixtures.

To be successful, each of these visions will necessitate a unique business model, organisational structure, and, most importantly, a laser-focused team. The technologies, customers, applications, and materials all vary significantly. By separating its VLM business unit into Supernova, BCN3D ensures that each has its own space to grow in the long run.

Supernova will be led by CEO Roger Antunez, who was previously the General Manager of BCN3D since 2019. Marta Mico, the former VLM Head of Business Development at BCN3D, will join him as a co-founder. Furthermore, Eric Pallares, the former CTO of BCN3D, will join Supernova as a Distinguished Technologist. Meanwhile, the rest of the team will remain at BCN3D, with Pol Domenech, the Sales Director, taking over as the new General Manager.

BCN3D Omega I60 3D printer
BCN3D Omega I60 3D printer/Source: BCN3D Technologies

Under the leadership of CEO Xavi M. Faneca, BCN3D will remain focused on its core business of extrusion-based technologies. The company intends to expand its leadership in the IDEX segment, which it established in 2016, as well as grow its industrial offering with products such as the BCN3D Omega I60, an all-in-one industrial FFF 3D printer designed for the factory floor that includes IDEX technology, an actively heated printing chamber, a massive print volume, and a high-speed architecture.

Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) Technology

Supernova’s core technology is Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM), a lithography-based AM process that laminates thin layers of high-viscosity resins onto a transparent transfer film before photopolymerizing the resin into the 3D printed object. The resins can be up to 100 times more viscous than those used in conventional DLP, SLA, or MSLA processes, allowing for an unprecedented range of properties. These properties are more similar to thermoplastics than to standard thermosets, and they were achieved in an efficient and scalable manner.

Supernova VLM Parts Materials
Supernova VLM Parts Materials/Source: BCN3D Technologies

With the formulation flexibility provided by high viscosity, Supernova’s materials portfolio benefits from a broader range of available ingredients, resulting in superior properties. The process can handle a variety of chemical bases, including acrylates, silicones, epoxies, and filled materials. To support its long-term materials strategy, Supernova has formed partnerships with major chemical companies in AM. These relationships include a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Arkema, as well as collaborations with Altana, Elkem, Henkel, and Rahn.

VLM technology has generated significant market interest, as evidenced by over 500 company registrations in the Technology Adoption Programme. These companies operate in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, consumer goods, footwear, audiology, and healthcare, among others. Strategic partnerships with customers such as Puma, Saint Gobain, Orbea, Hutchison, and Prodrive have since driven material and technology development in response to customer needs. Aside from industrial markets, Supernova will focus on the defence and space sectors, aiming to develop industry-specific materials that other AM technologies cannot process.

During the next year, Supernova intends to use the Technology Adoption Programme to create applications in key vertical markets. This initiative seeks to influence both material development and the industrialization of hardware systems, ultimately resulting in a production-ready ecosystem. Beta deployments to customer sites are expected in 2024. In accordance with these objectives, the company will expand its R&D teams in materials and product (or hardware and software), as well as its business departments.

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow us on Google News.

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Abhimanyu Chavan is the founder of Manufactur3D Magazine. He writes on Additive Manufacturing technology, interviews industry leaders, shares industry insights, and expresses his thoughts on the latest developments in the industry. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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