Zurich-based a-metal to braced to kick off pilot projects for metal 3D printing

The Zurich-based startup a-metal developed a small-scale, affordable, and easy-to-use solution for metal 3D printing that expands the accessibility of the technology in various industries. The startup’s solution convinced the Venture Kick jury, which awarded it CHF 150,000 to develop and market its game-changing solution.

There are numerous challenges when it comes to utilizing additive manufacturing technologies, particularly for state-of-the-art metal 3D printing. Equipment is very expensive, requires a lot of space, and poses safety risks during operation due to the handling of hazardous metal powders.

With its affordable, compact, and safe machine solution, a-metal is expanding the accessibility of metal additive manufacturing to the broad industry. The patent-pending technology, combined with their unique cartridge system for safe powder handling, enables users to operate the machine without requiring a laboratory environment, making it accessible to anyone. Moreover, this cutting-edge entry-level solution not only enhances process robustness but also delivers competitive printing speed at an affordable price.

Target customers are technology SMEs, small research groups in the automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, and tooling industries, as well as education and training institutions. With its pilot program starting in early 2023, the startup is addressing the Swiss market before expanding its operations in the DACH region and the US. Its goal is to become the global leader for entry-level metal 3D printers in a fast-growing market currently valued at USD 3.9 billion.

The startup will invest the CHF 150,000 awarded by Venture Kick in expanding its team, accelerating product development, and launching its pilot program with a limited group of evaluation customers early next year.

A-metal was co-founded by Stephan Steiner, who holds a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from ETH and has gained extensive industry and research experience in additive manufacturing, and Andreas Kuster, who has over ten years of expertise in automation, electronics, and 3D printing and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Information Technology from FHNW. Florian Sercelj and Corsin Obrist have joined the team as highly skilled mechanics and embedded software engineers respectively, with the aim of driving the product development towards a market-ready solution by the end of the year.

“The Venture Kick challenge provides not only a massive financial boost but also a real kick for our entire business development,” said the co-founders. “Through the Kickers Camps, we learned to focus on and push forward relevant business activities, while winning the challenge generates very valuable credibility and visibility for both our startup and venture.”

(Press release/RAN)
Photo: a-metal team (from left to right): Florian Sercelj, Merlin Bettin, Corsin Obrist, Andreas Kuster, and Stephan Steiner