Stratasys Spins Off STEP Technology into Independent Company
Evolve Additive Solutions will develop the technology, which aims to deliver high-volume additive manufacturing at speeds comparable to traditional processes.
Stratasys (Minneapolis, Minnesota) has unveiled the spin-off of its selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process (STEP) technology and the formation of Evolve Additive Solutions. After nearly 10 years as an incubation project, a dedicated management team will lead the new organization and bring the technology to market. Built on Stratasys’ 3D printing and additive manufacturing experience, the solution aims to produce parts at a cost, quality and throughput comparable to traditional manufacturing processes such as injection molding. STEP technology is intended to enable high-volume production runs into the hundreds of thousands per year.
Designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration, STEP enables the use of production-grade thermoplastics (amorphous and semi-crystalline) for volume production applications across industries including consumer, automotive, industrial and medical. The scalable solution combines proprietary technology with electrophotographic imaging capabilities. It uses 2D imaging technology to precisely align incoming layers and bonding techniques to create final parts that are said to be fully dense with the isotropic properties of injection molding. It can print multiple materials within the same layer and provides full-color printing capability, including spot and process.
Evolve has already started to seek initial purchase orders during its alpha stage. Over the next 12 months, it also plans to engage new customers to evaluate beta systems for applications in volume production environments across vertical markets. It has not yet announced a date for general availability of its products.
Evolve’s senior management team brings more than 40 years of combined experience in additive manufacturing. Steve Chillscyzn will serve as CEO; Bruce Bradshaw will serve as chief business and marketing officer; Shane Glenn will serve as chief financial and strategy officer; and Dr. Arun Chowdry will serve as vice president of technology and materials.
“As an independent company, Evolve will best be able to focus on the advancement of the technology, provide the entrepreneurial environment and management equity incentives suitable for early stage efforts, and drive the customer relationships and partnerships to foster further development and initial market adoption,” says Stratasys CEO Ilan Levin. “As an equity stakeholder, we look forward to collaborating with Evolve and supporting this initiative to help make it a success.”
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