Last month, Woburn-based industrial 3D printing company Rize hit the scene after over a year in stealth mode.
Founded by industry veteran (a term I use loosely, given that 3D printing itself is a newly-minted industry) Frank Marangell, Rize isn’t your run of the mill 3D printing company for a handful of reasons.
First, there’s Marangell’s track record. An early player in the space, Marangell has spent the last decade knee-deep in 3D printing — first at Objet (acquired by Stratasys, where Marangell stayed until 2013), then at File2Part.
“Back in 2006, when Objet came to me to open its U.S. business, I had never heard of 3D printing,” explains Marangell. “I said, ‘Sign me up!’
“It [3D printing] is interesting. We get to see all the cool stuff that engineers are designing or medical teams are creating. We get to see so many things—it stays exciting.”
NO POST-PRODUCTION REQUIRED
Marangell’s experience isn’t the only factor setting Rize apart. The company’s technology is unique, too. The desktop printer creates engineering- and medical-grade parts and eliminates the need for post-production, like the filing and sanding that typically comes with 3D printing. That last factor is crucial. Rize claims that, without post-production, its process is 50 percent faster than other 3D printers.
Not a 3D printing expert? Marangell uses a simple analogy to explain how Rize is different from most.
The traditional approach to 3D printing is similar to baking a cake, according to Marangell. You mix up your batter, put it in a pan, and pop the pan into the oven. The cake bakes, the timer goes off, and you take it out of the oven. Then you have to wait for it to cool to frost and decorate it — a process that can take just as long (or longer) as it took to bake the cake.
With Rize, that metaphorical cake comes out of the oven ready to go: cooled, decorated, and ready to serve. According to Marangell, by eliminating the “hassle” of post-production, Rize opens the door to 3D printing to a variety of consumers - from dentists, to mechanics, to anyone else who would benefit from an industrial-grade prototype.
“From the beginning, the software is like sending a Word doc to your 2D printer,” explains Marangell, touting the printer’s ease-of-use.
“Our … technology eliminates 3D printing post-processing and all of the problems that come with getting the part out of the machine. That [post-processing] can take as long as the printing itself,” he added.
THE TIP OF THE 3D PRINTING ICEBERG
With $4M in seed funding from Longworth Venture Partners and SB Capital Group, Rize is currently in beta with Reebok.
Marangell has had a unique vantage point throughout the evolution of 3D printing and the creation of a vertical all its own. Ask him where he thinks the industry is going next, and he’ll tell you that it’s still in its infancy.
“I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface on where 3D printing is going to go,” Marangell said. “The sky’s the limit, as long as tech keeps evolving. We think we’re a big step forward.”