New York-based Kwambio has been a noteworthy company in the 3D printing sphere since its inception in 2015. They gained acclaim for their 3D file system launched in the same year they were incorporated, and they are once again making waves, this time on the back of a ceramics-producing 3D printer.
Their niche has typically been designing products that are not commonly associated with additive manufacturing processes, such as jewelry, décor, and homeware, though they have also produced bone implants and technical parts. While they did release a printer in 2015, Kwambio has done most its business on the manufacturing side, versus selling printers themselves. In 2017, the company printed over 10,000 different products for customers the United States and Europe.
Their latest ventures, however, have been centered around the further pursuit of perfection in the realm of ceramic 3D printing. They made history in 2016 by opening the first additive manufacturing factory for ceramics in all of Europe, an eco-friendly facility located in Ukraine. The company has also developed a proprietary ceramic powder which helps them to back up their claim as the most affordable seller of 3D-printed ceramics in the marketplace.
They have taken the ceramic-based innovation a step further, announcing the Ceramo One, the first industrial printer for ceramics. Previously, ceramic objects created through additive manufacturing could only 3D-print the mold, with the ceramic mixture added subsequently. The Ceramo One will allow the entire process to be conducted through the additive manufacturing process, resulting in higher quality ceramics with substantially shorter production times.
A cup produced under the old method takes, on average, ten days to produce. According to Kwambio CEO Vlad Usov, this process will take two to three hours using the Ceramo One. With a printing speed of 160 mm per second, the cost-slashing estimates afforded by the new technology are substantial. Instead of a cost of 12 to 15 cents per square centimeter of a 3D printed ceramic object’s surface, the Ceramo will run a cost of 8 cents for the same space.
The printer will be distributed to those interested in purchase, with numerous glazes and over 100 colors of Kwambio’s proprietary clay-based powders included. The printer will also be able to produce molds for metal products and aerospace parts, not only ceramic objects. The Ceramo One is a one-of-a-kind 3D printer that allows for end-to-end ceramic production not before seen in additive manufacturing.