The US-based startup Rosotics specializes in the development of 3D devices, with a particular focus on additive manufacturing of metals. Whose goal? To offer manufacturers the largest metal 3D printer imaginable on the market today. This production platform, known as M1, offers impressive construction volumes – from two meters in diameter to ten meters in height. It is capable of designing parts as impressive as fairings or tanks and meeting the needs of sectors such as aerospace, shipping and energy. We spoke to CEO Christian LaRosa to find out more about how this machine works and Rosotics’ ambitions.
3DN: Could you introduce yourself and Rosotics?
Hello, I am a Christian. I am the CEO and product architect of Rosotics, a venture capitalist-backed industrial robotics and manufacturing research and development company that develops and operates large-scale metal additive manufacturing systems for the production of massive structural parts (such as tanks, domes, fairings and rocket intermediate stages). Our system, the M1, is the world’s largest commercially available metal 3D printer used in the aerospace, energy and marine industries.
3DN: Why did you decide to start Rosotics?
Rosotics was founded with the stated goal of enabling the use of 3D printing in heavy industry. Our small-scale industry has evolved very quickly over the last decade, revolutionizing the way parts and components are manufactured. We believe that the high volume segment also needs to be able to access the capabilities of 3D printing in relation to the materials and performance thresholds they process on a daily basis and have developed a platform specifically to enable this capability.
3DN: Can you tell us more about your manufacturing platform? What makes it unique?
Many companies in additive manufacturing have different definitions of the term “large series”. For us it’s very clear that we don’t use the word “parts” here – we print “structures” because the system works at a very high mass flow rate to print very heavy hardware. Our platform, the M1, serves as the largest commercially available metal 3D printer in the world, printing from just 2 meters in diameter to well over 10 meters in height and diameter.
At the heart of our platform is an internally developed, adoption-based process. No laser is used at all, which enables significantly higher volumetric printing speeds and also requires a significantly smaller footprint in terms of infrastructure and power consumption. The RIME (Rapid Induction Mass Extreme) approach also utilizes commercial grade wire material (COTS), eliminating the need for hazardous powdered metals while maintaining the same aerospace-grade performance levels.
3DN: What sectors are you targeting?
M1 is designed to provide additive manufacturing capability not only for aerospace hardware, but also for wind turbines, ships, or other sufficiently difficult metal structures that would traditionally be machined or forged. Our platform is capable of handling most, if not all, primary structure production at these scales on an automated platform. This is a capability typically provided by multiple independent tool systems.
3DN: How do you see metal AM in the next 10 years?
Many consider 3D printing to be an industry that peaked a few years ago, although this is not the case. The benefits of 3D printing have not yet been recognized; You will then be able to reduce the traditional three to four year testing campaigns, which relied on very long, tailored lead times, to less than a year. What this industry will enable with the advent of accessible large-scale printing capacity is a form of manufacturing optimization not seen since the days of Henry Ford and the first assembly line.
3DN: Any final words for our readers?
We value builders. If you would like to develop or are already working on a groundbreaking product that could be accelerated from M1, we would like to get in touch with you. You can find out more about Rosotics HERE.
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*All image credits: Rosotics