Former Dassault Exec Takes Over Rize
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on December 06, 2017 | 1472 views

After coming out of stealth in 2016, Rize has been in the process of making its name well-known and its Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) technology widespread. So far, it has been successful in attaining such high-profile customers as the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, NASA and Merck. 

Rize has appointed Andy Kalambi, a former executive at Dassault Systèmes, as its CEO. (Image courtesy of Rize.)
Rize has appointed Andy Kalambi, a former executive at Dassault Systèmes, as its CEO. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

However, along the way, Rize also had a change of management, parting ways with former CEO Frank Marangell in 2017. In fall 2017, the startup filled that gap with Andy Kalambi, who has over 25 years of experience in general management and executive positions. These include time at Dassault Systèmes as CEO of the ENOVIA brand and the global executive of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

ENGINEERING.com spoke to Kalambi about his vision for the company as he takes the reins.

Blending Two Technologies

APD is a unique platform in that it combines two existing 3D printing technologies, FDM and inkjetting. With APD, an extruder-style head is used to melt plastic onto a substrate layer by layer, while an inkjet print head can apply inks, such as color or functional materials. The result has enormous potential.

The Rize One 3D printer is capable of 3D printing isotropic parts without post-processing. (Image courtesy of Rize.)
The Rize One 3D printer is capable of 3D printing isotropic parts without post-processing. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

With the flagship Rize One 3D printer, APD already demonstrates a number of capabilities: printing images and text onto 3D-printed parts, creating easily removable support structures and isotropic strength. Post-processing is minimized through the deposition of the Release One ink between supports and the printed object during printing.

 “Our first printer already does a lot in terms of delivering very strong parts,” Kalambi said. “If you look at reports of other parts produced by printers that claim to have the strongest parts, ours are two times the strength of those parts and even more. We are able to deliver this now and at a lower price point. We’ve also been careful about the cost of ownership. If we want to make the printing process pervasive, then we need to ensure that it’s available at a starting price point where it is affordable enough to put next to a desktop.” 

Voxel-level control enables APD to 3D print full-color parts, though the initial release will only print in gray scale. (Image courtesy of Rize.)
Voxel-level control enables APD to 3D print full-color parts, though the initial release will only print in gray scale. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Right now, Rize is working with its first engineering-grade material, Rizium One. The exact chemical makeup of Rizium One has not been disclosed, but the company has elucidated some specifics. For instance, the material is described as being twice as strong as Stratasys’ ABSplus and having a moisture absorption uptake of less than 0.01 percent in 24 hours, compared to 1 percent in ABS, Kalambi said.

Rizium One is also recyclable and does not emit any volatile compounds when printed. This compares to ABS, which releases toxic styrene as a by-product during printing. Additionally, the use of Release One ensures that no harsh chemicals are necessary for post-processing. The use of recyclable engineering-grade material and minimal post-processing at a low price point ($33,000) makes APD desirable to its customers.

This is just the beginning according to Kalambi. The combination of FDM and inkjetting makes it possible to innovate both in terms of the materials that come out of the extruder and the inks that are deposited during the printing process. 

Rize plans on expanding the thermoplastics that can be printed with its technology, including polyetherketoneketone and polyetherimide, as well as polymers produced from renewable sources. However, there is still versatility that can be achieved with Rizium One through the development of new functional inks.

“We chose [Rizium One] in part because you can play with the material in the printing process itself,” Kalambi explained. “You can create varying material properties within the same part. In the future, we will be able to inject thermoconductive inks, which creates the possibility of integrating electrical properties. We can inject plasticizers that change the hardness of the parts, allowing for variable hardness within the same part. For example, one element of the part could be hard and another element could be soft.”

Under New Management

Marangell, who acted as president of Objet before the Stratasys merger, left Rize in 2017. The reasons for Marangell’s departure aren’t entirely clear, with Vice President of Marketing at Rize Julie Reece only saying, “Companies reach different stages during their growth where they have varying needs. We decided that it was the best course moving forward for us to part ways with Frank. We wish him well.” 

To replace Marangell, the board of Rize, including Rize Founder and CTO Eugene Giller, Nilanjana Bhowmik of Longworth Venture Partners and Santhana Krishnan of Om Ventures, approached Kalambi. Kalambi spent the last 17 years of his life in software with Dassault Systèmes, where he oversaw the company’s product lifecycle management (PLM) product, ENOVIA. Before that, he was with the large supply chain software company SAP. Prior to SAP, he worked as a mechanical engineer on the shop floor. 

“I have more than just a PLM background. I have an enterprise solutions background,” Kalambi relayed. “I have a background with an end-use perspective for AM, as well as supply chain manufacturing and design innovation environments. I think the AM space is becoming a space where all of these things are coming together: design innovation, manufacturing and supply chain.” 

Altogether, this has given Kalambi experience at every point of manufacturing, he said.

While overseeing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform over the past couple of years, Kalambi became deeply involved in additive manufacturing (AM) in particular. Kalambi, “I see an enterprise play here for AM. I call it ‘Additive at Scale.’” 

To scale the APD process, Kalambi said that Rize plans to release new versions of its printers. While a company like HP aims to increase the throughput of 3D printing through the size and speed of its machines, Rize is considering the flexibility offered by the Rize One’s smaller size, as well as the clean, safe process and materials.

“Our focus is pervasiveness in the enterprise. That is, scaling where you can put many machines across the value chain of your organization,” Kalambi said. “One of the good things that we’re seeing with customers is that they’re looking at a combination of using big machines with high throughput in the lab, as well as lower-volume, industrial-grade machines that provide greater part strength and the same speed that can be easily used by the user at the point of consumption.” 

It is this flexibility that Kalambi said caused the Army to look into APD. It’s easier to deploy a smaller printer in the field than a large system.

In addition to the technology that Rize had developed, Kalambi said that he maintains some of the same core values that Rize had. In particular, he shares the same values of sustainability and inclusiveness.

Sustainability starts with part strength and includes the relatively clean nature of the APD process described above. However, Rizium One is a petroleum-based material, according to the company. If Rize wants to ensure a truly sustainable model, it cannot just ensure that its plastics are recyclable, but it will need to avoid using fossil fuels in its plastics.

The production of plastic is estimated to use 8 percent of annual oil production across the globe—4 percent for making the plastics themselves and 4 percent to fuel production. As a result, 100 million to 500 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere each year as the result of plastic production.

Inclusiveness refers to making the technology widely accessible, which is achieved in part through the ability to use the Rize One 3D printer in a variety of environments that are typically off-limits to industrial AM technology. Because it does not emit volatile compounds or require harsh chemicals for post-processing, the printer can be used in office buildings.

Inclusiveness will also be facilitated through the partnerships that Rize is able to establish. “We intend to partner with as many stakeholders as possible to work on developing different AM solutions for the market. It’s not just going to be about what the printer does but, at the end of the day, what the customer is able to realize with the AM process,” Kalambi said.

Under new management, someone who has established experience in the field of digital manufacturing, Rize is likely to see a good deal of exciting developments occur in the near future. To learn more about the company, visit the Rize website

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