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SphereCube Introduces 3D Printer for Composites – Interview with CEO Valerio Di Pompeo

SphereCube is a spin-off from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, founded at the end of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a mission to automate the production of high performance composites, the company has developed a unique 3D printing technology called Thermal Laser Curing. Their goal is to provide a versatile, open-platform solution for the production of high quality components for various industries. In an interview with 3Druck.com, co-founder and CEO Valerio Di Pompeo shares his insight into the additive manufacturing industry with a focus on composites.

As a startup, SphereCube’s goal is to automate the process of manufacturing high-performance composites through its proprietary 3D printing technology. This technology, known as Thermal Laser Curing, uses heat to polymerise materials, enhancing the mechanical and thermal properties of these exceptional materials. Through the interaction of the laser sources with the raw materials involved in the process, this system enables the production of composite components with continuous fibre reinforcement and thermosetting matrix. Currently, the company is focused on launching its first 3D printer, along with related software and materials, by the end of 2024. 

Interview with Valerio Di Pompeo

In an interview with 3Druck.com, co-founder and CEO Valerio Di Pompeo explains why the use of composite materials in 3D printing is a game-changer and highlights the technological advances he believes are crucial for the industry.

In your opinion, what is the significance of composite materials for the additive manufacturing industry?

Valerio Di Pompeo, Image: SphereCube

The integration of composite materials in the additive manufacturing industry marks a transformative shift, offering unparalleled design freedom, enhanced material properties, and significant reductions in waste and costs. This innovation enables the creation of complex, customised parts more efficiently and sustainably, moving away from labor-intensive, handcrafted methods towards scalable, automated production. Such advancements hold immense potential for diverse applications across sectors like aerospace, automotive, and sports, promising a future where manufacturing is more flexible, eco-friendly, and tailored to specific needs.

Additive manufacturing has continuously developed in recent years. Which innovations or technological breakthroughs do you consider to be particularly important for the industry sector?

Recent innovations in additive manufacturing, such as the development of advanced materials including composites, improvements in 3D printing speed and precision, and the integration of AI for optimised printing processes, stand out as significant breakthroughs for the industry. These advancements not only enhance the quality and functionality of printed parts but also broaden the technology’s applicability across various sectors. By democratising access to these cutting-edge tools, engineers are empowered to design and produce disruptive parts, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with additive manufacturing and fuelling a new era of innovation and customisation in product development.

First Corona and the now high inflation pose major challenges for the entire industry. In your opinion, how do the multiple crises affect the additive manufacturing industry?

The additive manufacturing industry, like many others, faces significant pressures from recent global crises, including the pandemic, soaring inflation, and geopolitical tensions in Europe. These challenges have introduced supply chain disruptions, increased costs, and heightened economic uncertainties, affecting investment and operational stability. Despite the initial hype surrounding additive manufacturing, the reality has sometimes fallen short of expectations due to these compounded difficulties. However, companies like SphereCube aim to navigate through these turbulent times by focusing on innovation and the development of high-quality technologies that meet customer needs. By pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can achieve, SphereCube is committed to fulfilling the industry’s promise and delivering on the expectations set forth, demonstrating resilience and adaptability in the face of global challenges.

What impact do you think additive manufacturing will have on various industries and possibly society as a whole in the coming years?

In the coming years, additive manufacturing is poised to significantly transform various industries and potentially society as a whole by enabling more sustainable production methods, reducing material waste, and allowing for greater customisation and innovation in product design. This technology is expected to democratise manufacturing, making it accessible to a wider range of creators and entrepreneurs, thereby fostering innovation and potentially reducing the environmental impact of production processes. Moreover, by streamlining supply chains and reducing the need for inventory through on-demand manufacturing, additive manufacturing could lead to more resilient and responsive manufacturing ecosystems, reshaping how goods are produced and consumed globally.

Here you can find further information on ShpereCube.

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