Evolve Additive Solutions, Inc., whose proprietary STEP technology will radically improve manufacturing while creating new disruptive business models, today announced the shipment of their first STEP system. The system is in the Alpha development stage and is being sent to a strategic partner, a large manufacturing company with an iconic brand name and the undisputed leader in their field. The strategic partner will help Evolve further develop the technology for use in a manufacturing environment versus a laboratory setting, and will also test the applicability of the STEP technology for new manufacturing strategies to significantly reduce their time to market and expand product design capabilities.
“As the co-inventor of STEP and being the executive in charge of development over the last nine years, it’s not only exciting but critical that we get the technology into a customer’s hands for development of real-world applications,” said Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions. “The Alpha stage is key to our progress and provides the necessary feedback to R&D to get to commercialization.”
STEP, designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration, allows users to utilize production-grade thermoplastics for volume manufacturing applications across multiple industries, including consumer, automotive, industrial and medical. The highly scalable and extensible solution combines Evolve’s own proprietary technology with the proven capability of electrophotography to produce additive manufactured parts that meet or exceed the attributes of traditionally manufactured parts.
Bruce Bradshaw, Chief Business and Marketing Officer for Evolve commented, “Although we cannot disclose the name of our strategic partner for our first Alpha system, we can say with extreme confidence that it will be put through the paces to ensure STEP is ready to perform in a manufacturing environment. The Alpha program tees up the organization for the next phase in the process which is Beta.”
Evolve is actively discussing participation in the STEP Beta program with companies across many industries including automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, industrial manufacturing and medical.
Chillscyzn added, “We are really looking for Beta partners who want to produce true manufacturing with additive at volume and is looking for the right technology. We believe STEP is unique in many aspects, such as material offering, automation capabilities, part quality and we are looking for Beta customers whose management are as passionate as we are about the future of manufacturing.”
The STEP process combines time-tested 2D imaging technology with proprietary IP developed by Evolve to precisely align incoming layers and sophisticated bonding techniques that create final parts that are fully dense with isotropic properties equal to or exceeding injection molding.
Specifically, STEP technology introduces a range of new features, including:
- Engineering-grade thermoplastic materials (amorphous and semi-crystalline)
- Cost per part lower than traditional manufacturing for short to medium batch sizes
- Surface Quality with Isotropic properties in X, Y and Z directions on par with injection molding
- Industry 4.0 and automation for factory floor integration
- Multiple material printing
- Full color printing capability – including accent and process colors, with 32-bit, grey-scale