Kodak will supply new 3D printing systems provider Evolve Additive Solutions with imaging systems, parts and consumables based on the Kodak Nexpress digital electrophotographic platform in anticipation of the additive manufacturing technology’s commercial release in 2020.
The companies have signed joint development agreements with the goal of helping further develop Evolve’s Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology.
Kodak has been working with electrophotographic technology for more than 40 years, with its most recent production Nexpress platform delivering modular and upgradeable print capabilities, making it an ideal platform for Evolve to leverage and transform into a production technology for additive manufacturing.
Initially, Evolve will be utilising a Kodak-developed toner manufacturing process to make the part toners for the Evolve system.
The electrophotographic technology is part of the whole solution comprising hardware, materials, processes, workflow software, and services required to print and finish parts cost effectively at high quality and high speed.
Collaboration and cross fertilisation of ideas between the two teams is expected to reach beyond materials and components to manufacturing, service and support.
“We are very encouraged by the opportunity to expand our electrophotographic platform capabilities outside of 2D imaging to the 3D printing or additive manufacturing sector,” said John O’Grady, president of Kodak print systems division.
“Having worked closely with the talented staff of engineers working on the STEP technology for several years, we are confident Evolve will help change the way the organisations approach production of plastic parts for manufacturing.”
“Creating a strong technology partnership with Kodak is an important element in the development of STEP,” said Evolve Additive Solutions CEO Steve Chillscyzn.
“The selection of the Kodak systems and technology for STEP allows us to deliver to the market a highly-reliable solution, based on a proven engine that is recognized as one of the most productive printing systems in world.
“By working with Kodak, we have a technology and a collaborative relationship that will not only allow us to get to market quickly, but we will have the throughput expansion to grow as we push STEP capabilities into the future.”