OCEAN Alum Update: R3 Printing
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R3 Printer is the key to enabling mass customization at prices that can compete with mass production
Patent-pending systems remove the barriers to running a scalable on-demand manufacturing business
Allows on-demand manufacturers to operate more 3D printers with the same staff by virtually eliminating downtime, cutting the cost of custom 3D-printed products
Breakthrough printhead design unlocks faster print speeds and larger print sizes, boosting revenue and increasing the addressable market
Venture-backed, and a recipient of federal grant funding from the United States Air Force
Targeting the $15.8 billion-dollar Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) market sector
Industry growth is projected to $23.9 billion in revenue by 2022, and $35.6 billion by 2024
Manufacturing techniques like injection molding are the reason we have access to so many affordable products that make our lives comfortable and convenient. By standardizing the size and shape of a product and manufacturing it by the millions, the price becomes sufficiently low that most people can afford to buy it. That’s a win, right?
But there’s a downside: for the things in our lives that we wear, touch, or hold - usually the things that we interact with most - a standard size and shape means an imperfect fit for basically everyone.
Think about it: does it make sense that an insole that provides arch support has the same amount of arch for everyone? Of course not. But the only way around this is to manufacture using a different technology that introduces a whole new problem: cost.
The solution seems so simple: with enough 3D printers, one could build a business offering customized products that capture market share away from their mass-produced counterparts. But a look at the custom, 3D-printed products on the market today quickly reveals the issue:
While it’s clear that there’s a demand for products that are custom-made to fit the buyer, the unexpected outcome is that these are premium products available only to those who can afford them.
Why is this happening?
Manual labor is the silent killer that keeps custom, 3D-printed products priced out-of-reach in a premium product tier and away from the mainstream market.
On-demand manufacturing businesses operating 3D printers find themselves in a bind: cheap 3D printers require lots of setup, manual labor, and expertise to run while enterprise-grade 3D printers are expensive and are locked into overpriced proprietary materials that destroy margins.
The end result, no matter which class of 3D printer is used, is that the cost of 3D printing is currently too high, so custom 3D-printed products are expensive and priced out of the mainstream market.
R3 Printer is the additive manufacturing workhorse that businesses have been waiting for.
It’s designed from the inside-out to be the ultimate platform for running a scalable on-demand manufacturing service.
Patent-pending innovations on multiple key components make R3 Printer a purpose-built powerhouse for manufacturing.
On-demand manufacturers run 3D printers for a living, so we made sure that R3 Printer not only stands up to 24x7 duty cycles, but also outperforms current market offerings.
R3 Printer is an unlocked product that gives our customers a competitive advantage.
With R3 Printer, on-demand manufacturers can print with experimental thermoplastics to serve customers they would otherwise be forced to turn away if they were locked into a competitor’s material ecosystem.
For government agencies with strict security requirements, or businesses with very specific software workflow needs, R3 Printer is the solution. Our customers have the power to disable cloud connectivity yet still retain access to all operations and monitoring features over a local network.
With R3 Printer, businesses get both long-term value and out-of-the-box functionality:
You can’t beat the laws of physics: a lighter printhead can accelerate and decelerate faster than a heavy one.
In the case of R3 Printer, by shedding over 80% of the weight off the printhead, combined with other optimizations, R3 Printer can achieve print speeds that are 90% faster than competing extrusion-based 3D printers.
R3 Printer has a 200% larger build area than competing extrusion-based 3D printers, even though it has the same exact footprint:
A smaller printhead can utilize the full length and width of a printer’s internal volume. Unlike the competition, whose relatively large printers have very limited print sizes, R3 Printer can produce parts almost as big as itself.
Active Overheat Prevention™ uses an additional sensor in the printhead to monitor heat absorption and trigger a pause in printing if a critical threshold is reached:
Common thermally-induced jams take about 45 minutes of trained labor to fix, and introduce the opportunity for operators to get burned or injured. These jams happen without warning and usually go undetected for a long time, often after back-to-back print jobs.
By virtually eliminating the need to repair thermally-induced printer failures, Active Overheat Prevention™ allows on-demand manufacturing businesses to operate more 3D printers with the same staff, eliminating a major cost driver of 3D-printed goods.
Please note: The above statements are the estimates of the Company based on the Company’s understanding of the market, all statements made are the opinion of the Company and have not been validated by any third party.
R3 Printing is addressing the multi-billion dollar additive manufacturing (AM) market sector, forecasted to reach $15.8 billion in revenue by the end of the year:
The revenue forecast is expected to climb to $23.9 billion in 2022, and $35.6 billion in 2024.
Sources: Wohlers Associates, Wohlers Report “3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry” 2017, 2018, 2019 and Forbes, Significant 3D Printing Forecast Surges To $35.6 Billion
Forbes cited Wohlers Associates, the preeminent research and consulting firm, saying that for 2017 “investors will appreciate the solid 21 percent growth as the industry exceeds $7.3 billion.”
Historical data confirms that year-to-year growth has consistently been in the double digits.
Our target industry invests heavily in early-stage startups that develop disruptive technology. In 2018, there were 107 early-stage investments valued at nearly $1.3 billion.
Notable events in this space also include acquisitions, where established players from related industries acquire startups as part of their strategy for entering the lucrative, but competitive, additive manufacturing industry.
We have four (4) utility patent applications pending on all of the core features and mechanisms that make R3 Printer the ultimate platform for additive manufacturing.
In addition, we have registered trademarks for all of the core elements of our brand. We see this as a key investment in solidifying and protecting R3 Printing’s presence as a recognizable standard-bearer for on-demand manufacturing technology.
We’re excited to be partnered with companies that are eager to test the next generation of on-demand manufacturing hardware and provide us with the valuable feedback we need to optimize our product for a full-scale launch:
Li-Leger Creative | Vancouver, BC | Product design and manufacturing.
Obsessively Geek | New York, NY | On-demand manufacturing.
Forge Manufacturing | Jacksonville, FL | On-demand manufacturing and digital design.
Halo Aerospace | West Palm Beach, FL | Aerospace R&D.
Additional testing partners are in our pipeline.
We have also received federal funding to assist us in finding test partners within the United States Air Force (USAF).
R3 Printing is a proud alumnus of Ocean Accelerator Class IV, a highly selective Cincinnati-based technology accelerator that only accepts up to 10 startups in its annual cohort.
Ocean deploys seed-stage capital to each of its portfolio companies.
Our previous round on Republic was funded at 390% of our initial goal. The funds were used to complete R&D on various technology components, with the additional funds allowing us to do so in an accelerated timeline while also enabling the pursuit of high-value partnership opportunities.
Our current funding round will be allocated towards completing Design for Manufacture (DFM) / Design for Assembly (DFA) optimizations and purchasing the first factory run of R3 Printer units. DFM/DFA optimizations are small tweaks to our hardware component designs that lower our factory costs and help ensure that we can scale efficiently.
R3 Printing is a proud recipient of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I government grant, in partnership with AFWERX and the United States Air Force (USAF).
As part of this grant, R3 Printing is undertaking several initiatives:
We’re engaging with the USAF and other military/defense end-users to gain a deep understanding of their pain points as they move to adopt additive manufacturing technology.
We’re connecting with USAF and other Department of Defense (DoD) stakeholders to pursue additional prospective partnership opportunities.
If awarded a SBIR Phase II grant, we’ll begin drafting work plans for bespoke product development to fit USAF/defense-specific requirements.
Please note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
R3 Printing is a current incubee and resident at NYDesigns, located in Long Island City, NY. NYDesigns provides us with office space, access to a network of mentors and advisors, and a secure 5,000 square-foot fabrication lab.
Other incubation programs we’ve had the pleasure to partner and grow with include Fordham Foundry and FutureWorks, a hardware and advanced manufacturing incubator funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
We know the importance of having a clearly-defined target market and a focused approach to capturing it. To achieve this, we’ve segmented our go-to-market strategy into three phases:
By systematically entering and saturating a market segment before progressing to the next one, we operate efficiently and avoid wasting valuable resources pursuing high-lift relationships prematurely.
Our path to capturing market share starts with the 670 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) we’ve identified that provide on-demand manufacturing (ODM) services within the US and Canada:
The definition of ‘SMB’ in this case is specifically those ODMs with between 5 and 500 3D printers each. These businesses are eager to lower their overhead labor costs, and because of their small size there’s minimal bureaucracy and sales are closed quickly.
After sufficiently saturating our initial target market, we’ll expand our sales coverage to include other SMB entities such as engineering, architecture, and product design firms. These businesses don’t solely rely on profits from selling manufacturing services, and they will likely require more marketing resources to convert into closed sales.
Up next are large enterprises, including universities. These entities typically enter complex, multi-year relationships with their technology partners. Although lucrative, the high-lift process to getting a signed contract requires significant sales, legal, and customer success teams to meet the support requirements of these agreements.
As we progress through the stages of our market capture strategy and pursue contracts with larger enterprises, we anticipate a need for cloud features that go beyond what we would offer as a default suite of functionality.
To fill this need, we plan to build and offer premium cloud features on a subscription basis.
Note: We stand by our pledge to never force our customers to pay for the ability to manage or query data from their products, either via cloud or via local network. These premium cloud features are for larger enterprises that would rather subscribe to an additional service than invest in the software engineering required to build the features they need in-house.
We have big plans for R3 Printing, and our roadmap goes far beyond our launch product.
We didn’t just design a better 3D printer, we developed a future-focused platform for the ultimate additive manufacturing ecosystem:
R3 PrintGrid™ is the solution for customers with extreme manufacturing capacity needs. By stacking R3 Printer units vertically and connecting them to a shared water cooling loop and power delivery system, these customers can operate even more efficiently by manufacturing more parts per square foot in their factories than ever before.
We’re not the first to introduce an enterprise-grade 3D printer to the market, but we are the first to introduce a 3D printer that’s designed from the inside out for businesses that operate on-demand manufacturing services.
R3 Printer is the only product that checks all the boxes for our target market:
On-demand manufacturers operating a fleet of 3D printers currently have three tiers of products to choose from, none of which are optimized for running a profitable business:
Budget 3D Printers
This is a popular starting point, and the route that co-founders Dan and Paul took when starting their own 3D printing service. The main benefit is that one can start their business with a lower upfront investment, but the operators are permanently left with limited print sizes and slow print speeds. Out-of-the-box, this tier of 3D printer requires either lots of maintenance or heavy modifications that need real engineering knowledge to implement.
By operating a fleet of budget-tier 3D printers, businesses are left with a limited customer base and potentially high overhead labor costs.
High-End Consumer (“Prosumer”) 3D Printers
An upgrade to higher-end consumer (or “prosumer”) 3D printers doesn’t yield many more benefits, especially given the larger initial investment. For the most part, these printers offer slightly improved (but still limited) print sizes, improved out-of-the-box reliability, and some convenience features like network connectivity- though not necessarily cloud-based fleet management. At the end of the day, the upfront investment in these 3D printers compared to their ability to generate more revenue isn’t that great.
Therefore, most on-demand manufacturing services still opt for budget-tier 3D printers and simply put up with their shortcomings and/or invest in their modification.
(Current) Enterprise-Grade 3D Printers
Current enterprise-grade 3D printers typically begin above the $10k price point, offer larger print sizes, and additional software management features. At first glance, they seem like a great platform for running an on-demand manufacturing service. Unfortunately, customers of these products are typically locked into proprietary material supplies controlled by the manufacturer that strip away profits in the long-term, and stretches out the timeline to recoup the large initial investment.
By operating a fleet of (current) enterprise-grade 3D printers, businesses are left with a high initial investment to recoup and often a locked materials supply that limits their ability to price themselves competitively.
Many enterprise-grade 3D printers lock their customers into a proprietary material supply. This has major ramifications for the businesses that operate them. Not only are the proprietary materials priced far above market rate, they also prevent the operators from using new and experimental materials from other suppliers, further hurting their businesses by limiting their addressable market.
R3 Printing pledges to never lock its products to a particular material or software ecosystem. Instead, we plan on building additional streams of revenue by allowing our customers to opt-in to additional services and features that add value to their businesses, but they will never be forced to do so (or unable to build it themselves if they don’t subscribe).
Our market research shows that this is a key part of long-term customer retention, and we’re making it a big part of our strategy for capturing market share from the incumbent enterprise-grade 3D printer manufacturers as well.
After a successful exit from a Manhattan commercial real estate firm, Dan ran the day-to-day operations of a 3D printing service alongside Paul. With his background in business development and sales strategy, he found untapped markets where additive manufacturing was the perfect disruptor. He has since been key in R3 Printing’s fundraising and investment strategy that fuels the product development and intellectual property pursuits of the company.
Paul grew up with a passion for invention and automation with Thomas Edison as his role model. At Morgan Stanley, he was instrumental in developing macros that cross-checked his entire team’s work in an otherwise manual and error-prone environment. He was then recruited to work in the technology division of the world’s largest hedge fund, where he was the architect behind a firm-wide overhaul of automated alerting capabilities.
Paul is the inventor behind the patent-pending features that make R3 Printer the on-demand manufacturing platform of the future.
Together, we’ll disrupt a $15.8 billion-dollar industry and usher in a new era of customized goods that are manufactured on-demand, just for you.
The smallest investment amount that R3 Printing is accepting.
R3 Printing needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
$25,000 – $435,000
R3 Printing needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount R3 Printing is willing
to raise is $435K.
All companies adapt to their circumstances, but at this time we foresee two doors: IPO or acquisition. We’re open to both, and will lead the Company in the direction that makes the most sense for both our shareholders and the long-term health of the Company.
If you’re a close follower of the 3D printing / additive manufacturing industry, you’ll notice that there is a lot of industry consolidation through acquisitions. It’s a highly competitive tech space, so it makes sense that larger corporations will acquire startups that have innovated new technology / carved out lucrative niches for themselves. If we take this route, we look forward to working with a company that shares our mission and seeks to drive it forward.
You bet! We have four (4) utility patent applications pending, all of which are owned by the Company (or “assigned to” in legalese).
The USPTO gets hundreds of thousands of patent applications each year, and there are only so many patent examiners to review these applications. This creates a considerable delay before any submitted patent application gets reviewed.
It’s worth noting: even though our patents are “only” pending, anyone who files an application after us on technology that is too similar to ours will be blocked. Also, after our various applications become public record, any would-be infringers are put on notice and may be on the hook for infringing activities that occurred after that date.
Elevator Pitch: R3 Printer is an enterprise-grade 3D printer designed for businesses that offer 3D printing services for a profit (often called on-demand manufacturing). It prints almost twice as fast as our competitors, and is designed to virtually eliminate jams and maintenance to allow our target customers to both scale their businesses and price themselves competitively, all while maintaining or even increasing their margins.
Yes, but you’ll need additional equipment.
Strictly speaking, R3 Printer is an extrusion-based 3D printer designed to print objects using a continuous filament of a thermoplastic material. The reason we specify ‘thermoplastic’ is because the material needs to enter the printhead in a solid state, be melted into a liquid or amorphous state, and deposited in layers to become part of a solid object. The temperature requirements to do this with pure metal are prohibitive for extrusion-based designs, including R3 Printer (at this time).
But! There’s a lot of innovation happening in the materials space that can get us around this temperature limitation. If one were to mix metal powder into the filament to the point where the filament was actually mostly metal, one could print an object with an extrusion-based 3D printer such as R3 Printer without needing to melt the actual metal. Then, as a post-process, one could put the printed part in a furnace to burn off the thermoplastic and bind the metal powder into a solid. There are already companies working on this, and because R3 Printer isn’t locked to any materials supplier, our customers can experiment and benefit from this innovative approach to 3D-printing metal parts.
That’s a great thought, and one we’ve explored too. We’re not opposed to licensing our technology. However, shopping around a technology license as a sole or primary revenue strategy is a disadvantageous bargaining position compared to having a product on the market and a book of business of our own. We see it best for both current and future shareholders to proceed with our product roadmap as if there were no plans for licensing, and review licensing deal offers on a case-by-case basis.
R3 Printing is a Delaware C-Corp founded in March 2018. At this time, co-founders Dan and Paul are the only shareholders; all fundraising has been done using instruments such as Convertible Notes or Crowd SAFEs that haven’t been triggered, or government grant funding where there is no equity involved. Dan and Paul see this as a major advantage: in the early stages of a startup, it's imperative that the directors can execute quickly and nimbly to capture fundraising and market opportunities and build the Company into a high-growth vehicle that creates value for the shareholders - both current and future.
It’s been an incredible year since our campaign launched on Republic, and we’ve only continued to pick up steam. Since our launch last year, we graduated from the OCEAN Accelerator in Cincinnati, and were invited to share our vision on stages in three other states and at LAUNCH Festival in Sydney. Our target market / customer base has now grown to include the United States Air Force and we’ve received federal government grant funding to help us execute on the customer discovery process and understand the USAF’s pain points as they move to adopt additive manufacturing technology.
On the product side of things, we are now in the Design for Manufacturing (DFM) stage. This means that we’re tweaking the final design of various components and systems to make them cheaper to manufacture and/or easier to assemble, which translates into cost savings as well. For example, the R3 Printhead has been redesigned to be a two-piece design that can be manufactured by CNC milling, which not only de-risks us by using a more traditional manufacturing method available around the globe, but also drastically cuts the production cost. We’ve also improved on the construction of R3 Printer’s sheet metal chassis to use fewer parts which not only eases assembly, and therefore reduces costs, but also makes it stiffer- an added benefit to ensuring print quality at high speeds.
Completing the Design for Manufacturing (DFM) process and first-factory-run working capital are our largest expenses. In the DFM process, we work with experienced consultants to advise us of changes we can make to reduce the cost to manufacture or assemble our product.
As we approach the launch of our product, we not only need upfront capital to manufacture batches of R3 Printer units all at once but we also need to recruit staff for sales and marketing. There are 670 businesses operating between 5 and 500 3D printers (each!) in the US and Canada, and adding new team members as well as investing in producing engaging marketing content will help us capture our initial target market quickly.
At the time of this disclosure, co-founders Dan and Paul are the only employees of the Company as defined by State and Federal rules and regulations. However, we augment our ability to execute on product development and business initiatives by engaging experts in a consultant and/or advisory capacity. We do plan to hire full-time employees as we approach the launch of our product.
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