Stratasys Spins Off New STEP technology and Forms Evolve Additive Solutions

STEP technology delivers additive manufacturing with cost-per-part and surface quality in line with traditional manufacturing, along with X, Y, Z directional strength and mechanical properties that rival injection molding, Stratasys reports.

Stratasys Ltd. has unveiled the spin-off of its Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology and forming of Evolve Additive Solutions.

After nearly 10 years as an incubation project, the new organization will be led by a management team focused on bringing the STEP technology to market, aimed at delivering high-volume production additive manufacturing.

Built on Stratasys’ development and 3D printing and additive manufacturing background, Evolve’s STEP technology is aimed at producing parts at a cost, quality and throughput comparable to traditional manufacturing processes, Stratasys reports. The solution is intended for high-volume production runs into the hundreds of thousands per year. It is expected to compete with traditional processes, such as injection molding.

“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.”

Designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration, STEP empowers users to utilize production-grade thermoplastics for volume production applications across multiple industries, including consumer, automotive, industrial and medical, Stratays notes.

“We believe the STEP technology is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap in the market not yet addressed by additive or traditional manufacturing technologies,” says Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions and co-inventor of STEP. “It is the first-of-its-kind technology offering an additive method for mass production. It’s designed to deliver the benefits of additive, while handling high-volume production.”

The STEP process combines 2D imaging technology with IP developed by Evolve to align incoming layers and bonding techniques that create final parts that are fully dense with isotropic properties of injection molding.

Specifically, STEP technology introduces a range of new features, including the following:

  • Engineering-grade thermoplastic materials (amorphous and semi-crystalline)
  • Production speeds of up to 50X faster than existing additive manufacturing solutions
  • Cost per part and surface quality comparable to traditional manufacturing
  • Isotropic properties in X, Y and Z directions on par with injection molding
  • Industry 4.0 and automation factory floor integration
  • Multiple material printing capable within the same layer
  • Full-color printing capability, including spot and process
Evolve has already commenced seeking initial purchase orders from several automotive, consumer goods and aerospace companies during its alpha stage.  Over the next 12 months, Evolve also plans to engage new customers to evaluate beta systems for applications in volume production environments across many vertical markets. Parties interested in beta opportunities are encouraged to contact Evolve directly.  Evolve has not yet announced the date of expected general availability of its products.

The senior management team of Evolve Additive Solutions brings over 40 years of combined experience in additive manufacturing and includes the following members:

  • Steve Chillscyzn, CEO
  • Bruce Bradshaw, chief business & marketing officer
  • Shane Glenn, chief financial & strategy officer
  • Arun Chowdry, Vice President of Technology and Materials
For more info, visit Stratasys and Evolve Additive Solutions.

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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