Russia is secretive and mysterious. That’s just the way it is. This clashes with the very modern need for constant and global visibility of its many tech startups. Russia is enormous and ironically – as if its huge territory were not enough – it is also the nation that has the closest bond to Earth’s orbit. They were the first to send a person there and they have been the only ones to send people there since the Space Shuttle retired (and until Space X, Boeing and NASA get a move on already on crewed orbital flights). So this is Russia, both very traditional (and closed) and futuristic (seeking openness). These two different souls live within Russian 3D printing companies, with makers and hackers grabbing the spotlight while industrial commercial and state-run organizations work in the background on implementing AM processes.
We recently had the opportunity to visit Moscow to attend the – very well run – conference organized by our friends and partners at 3D Today, Russia’s leading additive manufacturing online media platform. While in Moscow – and during the conference – we had the opportunity to visit and meet with some of the most interesting Russian 3D printing companies. With support from our own 3dpbm Index, this is the map of the companies that impressed us the most. As always, please note that these are not all the Russian 3D printing companies. To see a list of all Russian 3D printing companies please visit our Directory.
3D Bioprinting Solutions
3D Bioprinting Solutions was founded by INVITRO, the largest private medical company in Russia, which is why the laboratory is located on one floor of the INVITRO facility in Moscow. The company’s other Co-founders include INVITRO founder Alexander Ostrovsky and VIVAX BIO CEO & CFO (also INVITRO Advisory Committee Member) Yakov Balakhovsky. New York-based VIVAX BIO is actually 3D Bioprinting Solutions’ mother company through a complex structure that sees 3dbio as the core research lab used to fuel ideas for new, bioprinting based, commercial startups.
The company has been working on projects that are – quite literally – out of this world: building Russia’s first bioprinter (Fabion) in 2014, bioprinting and implanting a rodent thyroid gland in 2015, developing a bioprinter based on magnetic levitation and finally sending (not once but twice) said bioprinter, aptly named Organ.aut, to print in space on the ISS. That was in 2018.
Anisoprint, a resident startup at the Skolkovo research center in Moscow, is the first company to challenge Markforged’s dominance of continuous fiber 3D printing by extrusion (Desktop Metal’s recently introduced Fiber system takes a different approach). The idea to develop a continuous fiber 3D printer came to the four co-founders as a result of their experience in the aerospace segment. The main advantage that Anisoprint is able to offer compared to Markforged is a more advanced extrusion system that enables the deposition of fiber reinforcements in a lattice-like structure, further and significantly reducing the use – and thus the cost – of the fiber materials without compromising part strength.
So what’s next for Anisoprint? The company is very much focused on European market expansion where Markforged is already well established. However, Markforged has been focusing more on the Metal X systems and has so far failed to present a large format, industrial-level machine for composites. Which Anisoprint has and just in time: composite 3D printing is now really getting hot as technologies evolve to meet the demand for more automated production, especially using continuous fiber
AMT Spetsavia is possibly the most important company in the world of commercial construction 3D printing that you’ve never heard of. We have actually covered some of their impressive work in the past: one of the largest commercially available construction 3D printers, one of the very first 3D printed houses (this is actually AMT Spetsavia’s founder, Alexander Maslov’s house), 3D printing to restore an ancient fountain and even coral reefs. In fact the Danish company Printhuset initially turned to AMT Spetsavia’s systems before launching its new COBOD business. Like many Russian companies, AMT does not get much press outside of Russia, but it should.
Active since 2011, Picaso 3D is the largest filament extrusion 3D printer manufacturer in Russia selling machines in Russia. The company is now expanding its reach into Europe and growing desktop machines’ capabilities. PIcaso Designer systems can now be networked into farms and are able to print small size parts in advanced plastics such as PEEK. Picaso 3D’s range today includes three models: Designer X, Designer XPRO and Designer XL.
Founded by Anna Zevelyov, Thor3D is a company we have been following for many years. In the early days the company struggled with very aggressive competition (even in court) from then segment leader Artec 3D. Once the court issues were settled, Thor 3D was finally free to innovate as per Anna Zevelyov’s initial intentions when she founded the company. Thor 3D has since launched the very successful Calibry 3D scanner. Anna now divides her time between California and Moscow, where Thor 3D is based and where she works.
iGo3D Russia is probably the largest 3D printer reseller in Russia. As the name implies it was founded as a division of German 3D print shop and 3D printer reseller iGo3D (one of the very first 3D print shops that ever opened) but is now fully independent. Like many other successful 3D printer resellers of new-generation 3D printing products, iGo3D focuses on two product brands in particular: Ultimaker (one of the most widely sold desktop filament extrusion brands worldwide) and Formlabs (the most successful desktop SLA brand worldwide). iGo3D Russia also resells BCN3D 3D printer hardware products.
Additive Solutions – or AddSol – is – probably the main – Russian manufacturer of SLM metal 3D printers targeted at the medical, aerospace, engine building, defense industry, metallurgy, automotive, education and research segments. Leveraging high-quality Russian engineering, the company targets these and other industrial adopters of SLM technology mainly within the Russian Federation and CIS. The company’s product portfolio includes: production machines – 3D printers of various modifications, Stratum software, metal powders, research, technology development, consulting, service, supply of spare parts, training in various programs. the company’s current range includes the smaller size S90 and the larger D250, with more larger models on the way.
Polema is a Russian manufacturer of spherical metal powders for 3D printing, MIM technologies, weld deposition and spraying with enhanced characteristics for purity, grain size and flow rate. AM materials, manufactured in the new plant that was opened in 2018, include spherical powders based on iron-, nickel-, cobalt-, chromium-, molybdenum- and tungsten. The company has also introduced a new range of refractory alloys for 3D printing and now offers a part production service using additive manufacturing and its own powders. New products introduced this year include analogs of 316L and Inconel 718 that can be used in the oil and gas industry, aerospace and engine engineering, tooling and other hi-tech spheres for additive as well as for other technologies for surface modification.
Though the name, translated in English, may not sound properly exciting, PrintProduct3D is a very large 3D printing consumables distributor in Russia. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, the company has locations and partners in Moscow (3D-Mall, 3D Printing Salon Selena and 3d-diy.ru), Kazan (3D World of Printing), Voronezh, Krasnoyarsk, and Kemerovo. PrintProduct3D sells both extrusion (including Picaso3D) and photopolymerization systems, as well as a wide range of filaments, solvents, adhesives and 3D print pens. They are also quite good at 3D printing, as the impressive life-size Deadpool and Lady Deadpool below – present at their 3D Today Fest booth – clearly showed.
3D Today is the leading Russian-language 3D printing media, founded and run by Sergey Pushkin. With over 30K readers just in Russia, 3D Today is one of the largest 3D printing horizontal news websites and a partner of 3dpbm for Russian market coverage. After the first very successful edition in St. Petersburg, 3D Today also regularly organizes the 3D Today Fest, which is emerging as the leading event for Russian 3D printing involving both makers and. increasingly, industrial AM companies that operate in Russia and CIS markets. Below is a selection of photos from the 3D Today Fest in Moscow, attended by 3dpbm.