Essentium has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Collider, a pioneer of Programmable Tooling, which combines the speed of Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing and the material strength of injection molding. The addition of Collider to the Essentium portfolio will drive new growth paths while enabling manufacturers to speed time to production of parts and innovation.
Said Jeffrey Lumetta, Chief Technology Officer at Essentium: “Collider has a lot to bring to the table. Their innovative method of bringing together proven technologies to create high-value use cases has already proven their industry value. We see significant opportunities in tooling for low volumes of parts and the ability to manufacture geometrically complex, custom parts on-demand and quickly. In addition, this represents Essentium’s first entrance into photopolymer AM technologies and will expand product offerings in several areas especially when combined with our unique material science capabilities”.
As manufacturers look to respond quickly to market changes, many are challenged with late-stage product development. Creating injection moldings or specific tooling for low-quantity parts production is a costly and time-consuming process. Instead of a permanent, hard tooling mold, Collider’s DLP 3D printing technology, creates a thin photopolymer shell which is then injected with a variety of materials and cured through a chemical process. After some post-processing, a production-quality part or mold is left.
Collider 3D printing technology unlocks a vast array of high-performance thermosetting polymers and composites including polyurethanes, silicones, epoxies, polyesters, foamed resins, carbon fiber composites, as well as sintered metals and ceramics, with one machine. It has structural integrity on par with IM processes and creates high detail aesthetic surfaces, enabling manufacturers to speed up the design process and obtain parts in a few hours rather than weeks.
Essentium aims to take the technology to new horizons by leveraging its expertise in material science and 3D printing machines. This unlocks the enormous speed, economic, and innovation advantages for manufacturers across consumer, medical, transportation, wearables, aerospace, and industrial industries.
Collider’s former CEO, Graham Bredemeyer, will join the Essentium team as the Director of the Photopolymer Group. He said: “Bringing Collider into the Essentium fold has hugely exciting potential for the industry as manufacturers want a more agile future enabled by AM. As part of Essentium we can open up 3D printing to off-the-shelf materials, fundamentally changing hardware development. Collider’s technology fuels the next wave of AM innovation by enabling mass customization and rapid product innovation.”