The first native 3D-printers — On Sale

The founder of a young company, "Cypress" in the truest sense of building your business with help of 3D-printerov.Ofis startup in Zelenograd, its atmosphere is very reminiscent of the "technological start-ups" of the late 1980s. Is that on the table are "Poppies" and is collected here nekakoy someday AONy or prototypes of the first personal computers, as well as much-3D-ready products printery.Chast immediately incorporated into the manufacturing process and starts printing new copies of printers. Production of capital goods for the production of the means of production — and so on ad infinitum? However, the capacity for self-renewal in modern printers is not one hundred percent. "Now we can print only 30-40% of the parts, — says CEO" Cypress "Andrew Isupov. — That is — all that is made of plastic. "

The first layer of plastic applied 3D-printer, like a pattern. Gradually, layer by layer, in a few hours the item is starting to take shape. Here it is — the prototype 3D-production of the future, which for so long spoke futurists? The inverse image of quite productive. One printer is able to print their own copies of the 20-30 month.

However, in the coming months, the company plans to abandon the "advanced technology" and begin to mold parts in the form of silicone. It's time to expand, and from an economic point of view, while profitable scale production using traditional casting. Small-scale production of "Cypress" is no longer appropriate. Once the company has new marketing channels, including major regional distributor with an established network of partners, "Cypress" plans to quickly double their sales (so far — up to 50-60 units per month). But when monthly sales exceed $ 300 printers, would have to change the technology and move on casting aluminum mold. There is already pretending Isupov, can not do without the transfer of production to outsourcing — probably in China.

Despite the small volume of sales for the year of the "Cypress" almost managed to reach self-sufficiency. "The financial success of the company is largely due to our small salaries — smiling Andrew. — All on the commitment of employees who are really interested to work with three-dimensional printing. We believe in the potential of the market and therefore are willing to wait. "

Copying and cloning

In the office of the "Cypress" on the shelf is very important for the whole of the story facility — about six feet robot capable to overcome various obstacles, including stairs. This thesis Isupova Andrew and his partner Maxim Anisimov on "Microprocessor robot control system", which they defended two years ago. The robot is by and large made two graduates of the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology (MIET) to address the issues 3D-printing. "Initially, the robot does not imply any commercialization — says Isupov. — However, after graduation, we decided to try to make it a commercial product. " This required at least give the robot to "marketability", but with this much and there was a hitch: build quality plastic case for it does not work. In search of an appropriate option Partners stumbled upon an open online resource RepRap.Org, which recounts how and what can make your own 3D-printer, explored the possibilities of technology and realized that the everyday life of the robot will only 3D-ordered pechat.Nachinayuschie entrepreneurs in the U.S. set of components assembled printer and … found that this device is almost impossible to use. "It's very crude, — says Andrey. -What-or you can print it difficult even to us, given that we are not humanitarians. But after it became clear where to go. Since the robot was on the shelf, and we plunged into a modification of the American model. Proizvodstvo3 D-printers seemed very promising direction. " Russian competitors in this niche can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Printers import costs clearly do not claim to hit the midrange. In a word, you give the Russian affordable 3D-printer!

Gradually graduates MIET finalized and perfected all the mechanics of the American model, made its electronics and upgraded the firmware. No change was only the control code generator: the development of their software guys decided not to waste time (ON will appear in the new version of the device — 2013). On the design, however, too — and this says Andrew now as a marketing mistake, "reprapovsky" design cuts off part of the customer (after all, in a similar form is hard to see the new content). "However, — he adds — this was a mistake not to pass: at the start, we just did not have the resources. The new version will also be an original design. "

Be that as it may, in the spring of 2011, that is six months after the start of work, there was a first prototype that entrepreneurs began enthusiastically, "show all". A series of active presentation of the project soon turned into two grants. Several million rubles company received from RUSNANO and from the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship of Moscow. After this startup could afford to move to larger premises (just opposite MIET), the first to hire staff and start searching for distributors.

However, and its new developments in the "Cypress" is not abandoned. After about six months, Andrew Isupov expects to bring to the Russian market semiprofessional printer and cherezgod twice — and still professional ustroystvo.Vse-first model was originally designed for residential use, and in addition, bore the clear stamp of cost savings.

In which direction to go in the development of new models, "Cypress" is already understood. The first model prints objects only when the device is connected to the computer. The new generation of printers will be more "own brains" — and thus control the printer will be using the "buttons". To grow and the maximum possible size for the printed product: as long as the limit of height without compromising on quality is 15 centimeters.

Printer supplies is plastic (as a bar), which is inserted into a device about the same as the paper — a regular printer. Digital model of the object is prepared for printing using a software program installed on your computer, and then — loaded into the printer, and after a few minutes to start printing. The printer has to warm up to a certain temperature required to soften the original plastic. The main role in this whole process is the print head: it pushes the plastic on the table printer, passing a certain path, and then comes back and starts a new layer. Once an object is "grown" coffee table cooled — and the item can be removed.

— Very meditative sight! — With pleasure says Andrew. — I have sometimes "hang" when I pass by. At the exhibitions in which we participate, always accumulates a lot of observers, for the first time seeing something like this, and for a long time watching the growing object. However, to participate in the exhibitions we have recently. A push their devices — and at about a month ago. The first time I even wondered where are the customers. Apparently, the trick spontaneously doing social networks. However, now we'll promotion purpose. For a scale to market, developed a set of marketing programs. SMM, will likely take on outsourcing …

Interface, ergonomics, usability instrument … At this stage, the startup is addressing these issues simply, without the focus of the first printers grupp.Odin chapter "Cypress" presented his fourteen-year-sister, who is engaged in a three-dimension
al modeling in art school — and then made sure that this technique could easily cope teenager. "It is a strong impetus for the development! — Isupov happy. — Previously, my sister all the virtual space was limited, but now she can immediately print out their facilities. "

The production for production's sake

Planning various marketing schemes for their devices, Andrew Isupov not least looks at education — schools, universities, and museums. There are customers who buy a printer "just so", as entertainment. However, the main segment of customers, which focuses on "Cypress" — this is the company that can not earn a printer or to include them in their production processes.

— One of our first clients is in our same building, just two floors below, — says the businessman. — The company specializes in the production of controllers and meters for industrial purposes. Printer they needed to do the loop for their "boxes": printed so hardware was stronger than what they bring "a set of" enclosure manufacturers. But the shells themselves profitable book on traditional ploschadkah.Vse same-3D-printing is more suitable for small batch production.

In this case, Andrew Isupov admits despite the quality that has been made in recent developments, the texture of the final product is still specific, "because the object built up layer by layer, so it textured surface, rough. This quality may not be the desired objectives. Although in some cases the laminations, however, is plus. For example, one of our clients, co-founder of the design studio, recently printed on our printer copyrights chess — very interesting figures came out! "

The printer has a few limitations: the product, the output is monochrome, and in addition, with the help of hard copy detailed objects such as jewelry. So Andrew Isupov expects in the next couple of years to begin production of photopolymer printers, which — slowly but surely — you can print more complex products.

"Raskhodka" for 3D-printers — a separate issue. In practice, the startups have found that not all fit in the plastic case. "We began with purchases from a Russian manufacturer — says Isupov. — But why, toprimerno 10-15 minutes after filling the printer stopped. Only two weeks later, we realized that the thing is tiny metal particles, which for some reason tobyli in plastic. After that they look for bars abroad. Convinced that the Chinese bar, contrary to popular belief about tamoshnem quality, very good. Odnakovse-still stayed at the European manufacturer. "

Supply of consumables grew rapidly in a separate area. But to him Andrew hopes to soon add another. Along with the production and sale of raw printers Andrew would like to do service industries. Once a printer company will remove the honorable duty of "self-reproduction", they will be redeveloped under the seal of prototypes for private customers. Tested this business and simultaneously replenishing range of printers, the entrepreneur hopes in three to five years to begin to develop a network of 3D-studio on franchising: the sale will be subject to park the company's devices, as well as the brand that the laws of 3D-printing, layer by layer, expect to grow in "Cypress". "I hope that there will be buyers of the franchise and the centers themselves will be in demand: consumers during this time have to get used to the idea that you can not just copy the pictures, but also three-dimensional objects" — reflects Isupov.

These are the plans once grew out of the "open resource". And this historical fact is often put on the kind of entrepreneurs. In response to such criticisms Andrew immediately gives the example of the wheel and the wheel, which is also at the time bylikem-toizobreteny and are still in common use: "No they did not do any carmaker, but car manufacturers are competing with consumer characteristics, that it would be impossible to come up with "volunteer." Principles of open source — the perfect starting point for sozdaniyachego-tone. However, moving to the level of creating a quality product, the all-takineobhodimo "closed."

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