Periodic Reporting for period 1 - xBeam (xBeam 3D Metal Printing)
Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31
The feasibility study validated that the additive manufacturing is growing fast – at almost 30% for already more than 5 years and the growth will remain for the following years. Currently the additive manufacturing market is accounted for $6.063 billion and is projected to grow by 4.3 times and reach $26.2 billion by 2022. Metal additive manufacturing is also showing impressive growth rates. Moreover, many industry leaders are anticipating new technologies in specifically metal AM, and many of them are eager to use the technology in their production process, and not only for prototyping, but for the final details/parts manufacturing. But the prerequisites for such technologies are high: high accuracy and quality, fast speed, affordable price of both machine and the raw material and operation, adequate size of the printer. Chervona Hvilya has developed unique innovative xBeam 3D Metal Printing technology that offers high accuracy and quality, high productivity, the lowest production cost in AM market and exclusive technological capabilities in the form of affordable and easy to operate equipment.
Participation in several major AM industry conferences helped to raise awareness about xBeam 3D printing technology. Numerous universities, as well as some biggest industry players showed interest in purchasing xBeam 3D metal printer. A Freedom to Operate analysis concluded that Chervona Hvilya has the full freedom to further commercialize the solution. To protect the solution, the company applied for patents in Europe, USA and China.
Currently, Chervona Hvilya is focused on preparation of xBeam 3D printing technology for market commercialization, including the final design of xBeam 3D printers, testing and verification, piloting the equipment with the chosen partners and finishing the development of the xBeam 3D metal printers ready for serial production. The ambition of Chervona Hvilya is to make metal additive manufacturing affordable and easy in operation, maintaining the highest quality of printed parts, and thus available for wide industrial application.
1) Market research. It helped to better understand the market trends in additive manufacturing, clearly define the target market for xBeam 3D printing technology, identify users' needs, estimate the size of the market, and define clear value proposition of xBeam in the global market. Main findings:
- Demand for 3D printing is rising rapidly. Moreover, 3D-printing is now applied not only prototyping but also for final part production, and metal AM was the driving force for that;
- Metal 3D printing is expected to grow faster than plastic. Production companies, as well as 3D printing service providers, that are planning to adopt 3D printing in their businesses/production, believe that metal 3D printing technologies have huge potential and are more profitable than 3D printing from other materials;
- 3D printing services are growing faster than sales of the AM systems and equipment. This is mostly because of the very high purchasing costs and operating costs (materials and productivity) of the industrial AM systems, and the complexity of the operation, that requires highly specialized staff.
- All the above mentioned findings prove that xBeam 3D metal printing will have demand in the global market due to the high growth rates of the AM market and also because xBeam will provide solution to the biggest challenges and problems in metal AM.
2) User needs research and analysis. Four target customer groups for xBeam 3D printer were identified. The CEO of Chervona Hvilya Dmytro Kovalchuk attended 4 major AM industry conferences in Germany, USA and China, where he presented xBeam 3D metal printing technology to public. In these conferences Dmytro Kovalchuk could challenge his assumptions, identify his potential customers’ needs and get feedback from industry leaders and potential customers. He made numerous contact with engineers and managers from such companies as GE, Lockheed Martin, NASA and others, as well as professors from the biggest universities and research institutes such as Fraunhofer, University of Bremen, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology and others.
3) IPR Strategy development. Chervona Hvilya researched the patent landscape and conducted freedom to operate analysis for xBeam 3D printing technology. Patents and trademarks applications were submitted in the chosen countries. Finally, the plan for next steps in IPR protection were developed together with specialized lawyers.
4) Business Model and Comprehensive Business Plan. All of the findings were translated into an elaborated Business Plan. Chervona Hvilya, with the help of external experts, developed the business model for xBeam and designed next steps and actions for further implementation of the project. Four main business lines have been identified for Chervona Hvilya: sales of xBeam 3D metal printers in different configurations, research contracts, 3D printing services, and other additional services. The sales plan, financial model and clear market entry strategy were developed, and the funding requirements for further development of the company were calculated.
xBeam technology will also help to solve the environmental problem by:
- Leaving almost no scrap material (comparing with conventional manufacturing where the amount of waste is extremely high, and other metal additive manufacturing technologies, namely powder AM, where the amount of waste is still significant);
- Significantly improving buy-to-fly ratio in aerospace industry.
From the business perspective, with xBeam 3D metal printing technology the company can save production costs, reduce lead times, be more independent from suppliers, deliver the product to the market faster, and deliver the most customized product to each client.