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More so than machines, materials are the key to success

An interview with Alessio Lorusso, CEO and founder of Roboze, an Italian 3D printer manufacturer
More so than machines, materials are the key to success
More so than machines, materials are the key to success

In a few words, could you tell us a little about your company?

Roboze is a company that specialises in innovative and high-precision 3D printing. We have invented processes to make high-temperature composites and polymers printable. Roboze was founded in 2013 for the purpose of offering state-of-the-art technology for 3D FFF printing (Fused Filament Fabrication). We primarily target industrial markets, including the medical, aerospace, automotive, oil and gas industries which are often on the lookout for extreme additive manufacturing solutions.



What are your specificities and who are your main customers?

We are very pleased to see that many industry leaders have incorporated our printing technologies into their manufacturing processes. They have undoubtedly helped them to reduce production costs and lead times, but that is not the only reason. We have developed comprehensive solutions using what we call super polymers or high-temperature resistant polymers. These materials have mechanical, thermal and chemical properties that enable them to meet the most extreme requirements. They can often be used to replace metals.



In addition, we are constantly working towards giving our machines a high degree of precision. We are very proud to say that we are among the best in this area. For those who are technically inclined, I can only say that our printers’ precision is due in part to our beltless system, for which we have filed patent applications. Our technology is based on mechatronics. The machines are therefore driven by gears and pinions.

Overall, they are six times more precise than all other belt-driven 3D printers. For example, the helical gearing guarantees high smoothness of movement and therefore positioning accuracy of 0.4µ inches (0.01 mm). Another advantage of this system is that it is silent!

To conclude on this subject, I would say that constant investment in the field of materials engineering and in the development of new technologies has enabled Roboze to market a wide range of innovative 3D printing solutions, such as our HVP extruder which can reach extrusion temperatures up to 550°C and is able to process high-viscosity polymers such as PEEK, Carbon PEEK, and polyimide.





On that subject, what types of polymers or composites do you use?

First of all, you have to understand our philosophy of attempting to replace many metals with polymers. Using polymers contributes to reducing the weight of the individual parts, which can be quite important in many industries such as the aerospace and automotive industries. Plastics are also very much easier to “work” and shape compared to metals and metal alloys. Our technopolymers can replace metal alloys and can be printed. As a result, they are functional and can be used in many applications.


Composite materials have particularly interesting properties for extreme applications. Take Carbon/PEEK, for instance; adding carbon fibres to PEEK increases the material’s mechanical strength and makes it possible to make further progress in the process of replacing metals in the motorsports, oil, gas, aeronautics and aerospace industries.




You also produce composite materials. Which ones have you developed?

We have several partnerships in the field of materials engineering. One of those is that which we struck up with Solvay enabling our Argo 3D printers to use high-performance polymers such as KetaSpire® PEEK and KetaSpire® Carbon PEEK.

Another example is the EXTEM™ AMHH811F filament which we developed with SABIC using a thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) helps us to make great progress. It has excellent flame-retardant properties and high dimensional stability. To date, it is without a doubt the most efficient amorphous filament in terms of heat performance. It can be found, for instance, in heat shields for cars, in parts designed to receive electronic parts and customised sensors in electric vehicles.


I would also like to mention our Carbon/PA, a polyamide which comprises carbon fibres. It is currently the strongest PA-based composite material thanks to its tensile strength of 138Mpa, its elastic modulus of 15 GPa and its continuous operating temperature of 150° C.

Our success is based on our policy of constant research. Our engineers, and I do not say this lightly, are determined to revolutionise the world of 3D printing by offering precise, indispensable and versatile solutions.



Every day, we strive to support those who innovate, who think outside the box and who are not afraid to try out new techniques. We have set the bar very high, but it’s worth it. Roboze pays continuous attention to the market in order to find the best solutions to meet its customers’ needs.
By working with scientific and technological leaders to develop materials, Roboze’s R&D team is able to design new solutions with excellent results.

What applications are they designed for?

As I’ve said before, our polymers offer a combination of properties that enable them to replace metal and therefore improve the parts used in particularly harsh environments such as in the oil, gas and aerospace industries by making them stiffer and stronger.

Our polymers have an excellent reputation in those fields. PEEK, for instance, is suitable for use in temperatures between -80° C and + 250° C.
Finally, chemical resistance is another important property of our materials. They can withstand the effects of solvents, which makes them very useful when producing parts that will come into contact with petrol or aggressive chemical solvents.




Does the perfect polymer exist?

Unfortunately, the perfect polymer does not exist, or at the very least it would be necessary to create a polymer specific to a given application. That is simply impossible, and doing so would also be much too expensive. Instead, we are conducting research into creating a versatile polymer. However, we are able to produce custom formulations for some of our customers, or even for the purpose of gaining access to new markets.

How do you think Roboze will evolve? And your industry?

Our industry is still very young and is constantly evolving both in terms of materials and machinery. We aim to always be at the forefront of technology by being pioneers. Continuous innovation is one of our strengths because our goal is to offer our customers what technology does best, day after day. We are ambitious and we believe that by continuing our research to invent new polymers and by developing ever more efficient machines, we will one day be the leader in our industry.




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