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a-metal – affordable, compact and safe metal 3d printing

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The project management is responsible for the content of the information provided.

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-053/22 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 150'000 
  • Approved: 01.11.2022 
  • Duration: 01.2023 - 12.2023 
  • Area of activity:  InnoBooster, seit 2018

Project management

Project description

Today, there are many obstacles for SMEs or inexperienced enterprises to get into additive manufacturing technologies. Especially for metal-based AM technologies, machines are very expensive, very big and the handling is unsafe. After talking to more than 20 leads in the automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, jewelry, tooling, and the university sector, more than 10 LOIs show, that we developed a great machine concept to address the industries' needs.
We are a team of two co-founders from ETH Zurich and university of applied science FHNW.
Our vision is to boost the innovation power and sustainability of the economy by making metal 3d printing more accessible to the broad industry. Thanks to our affordable, compact, and safe machine solution, we enable SMEs, small R&D departments, and the education sector to enter the professional metal additive manufacturing. Besides the compact desktop machine, we provide the needed powder material in sealed cartridges and an easy-to-use software package. The machine can be operated by any person with an artisan background and does not need a cleanroom environment, which reduces infrastructure costs. This will open a professional entry-level metal 3d printing market in an existing fast-growing USD 11bn market.
The funds granted from Gebert Rüf Foundation will be used to boost our product development and grow our team. This will enable us to launch our pilot program already in January 2024.

Status/Results

The proof of concept of the newly developed core machine unit has been tested in a research plant and showed very convincing results. We are now embedding that processing head in our very own desktop printer unit with our own control electronics. The critical part of the electronics is already working, and the optical system (OEM parts) has been evaluated but further process relevant units are still in development.

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Persons involved in the project

Stephan Steiner, project manager, process and business development
Andreas Kuster, technical lead, electronics and software development
Florian Sercelj, mechanical engineer

Last update to this project presentation  22.05.2024