BIFINCS16 participants are ready to take their next steps
Changing conventional manufacturing processes sounds pretty ambitious. Nevertheless, Pedro and Hans, two friends who have met during their studies of Industrial Engineering at Fontys in Eindhoven, are willing to take the challenge. The great news they have recently received will help them achieve just that!
LBDF has decided to fund TopologX, a participant in our Spring 2016 Incubation program. LBDF is an investment fund which provides funding to SMEs in order to validate, develop and market their business ideas. This funding will allow TopologX to take the next steps in their exciting journey towards building a viable business. First things first, we have interviewed Pedro Sterken and Hans Ingeveld — founders of TopologX — to tell you about their startup and where they are heading after receiving the funding.
“TopologX re-uses waste produced during manufacturing processes to create metal powder.”
In the conventional subtractive manufacturing processes, 3D objects are constructed by successively cutting material away from a solid block of material. In general, conventional subtractive techniques have a lot of advantages in manufacturing. These include lower costs of manufacturing, faster throughput time or scalability, to list a few. However, unfortunately, this process produces a huge amount of metal alloy waste of up to 80%.
That is where TopologX comes in. TopologX turns the produced waste into metal powder which can be used as a feedstock in additive manufacturing (AM) processes. Additive manufacturing consists of diverse technologies that produce 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of a certain material. By using the waste as a feedstock in AM, the manufacturing process is made circular.
“Conventional subtractive manufacturing methods usually produce up to 80% waste. By re-using this waste, we can make the manufacturing process circular.”
Currently, the metal waste is used in gas atomization. However, gas atomization has an efficiency of only 40–50%, whereas TopologX’ method approaches a 100% efficiency. Also, the change-over times in gas atomization are over a day, whereas TopologX can change from material to material in just twenty minutes.
Another advantage of TopologX’ method as opposed to the currently used gas atomization is the flexibility of the process. The unique method enables you to create many different alloys through greater customization possibilities. This also allows TopologX to meet future demand, i.e. alloys with higher melting temperatures like tungsten and titanium. Lastly, TopologX is able to guarantee the quality of the product throughout each step of the process.
“The flexibility our invention provides, allows us to also meet the demand of the future.”
TopologX was nominated in our ‘Startup of the Week’ feature in July, 2016. A lot of developments have taken place since then. Pedro and Hans expect that their newly acquired LBDF funding will enable them to validate the various processes and systems used within their technology.
First of all, they plan to validate the production process and second of all, to validate the systems used within the production process. After validating the processes and systems, TopologX will be ready to start serving customers.
“TopologX introduces a potential game-changing circular approach in the field of additive manufacturing which is both more cost efficient and more sustainable.” — Dennis Ohlen, LBDF
All in all, these are very exciting times for TopologX and we wish Hans and Pedro all the best of luck in taking their next steps in the upcoming months! We are looking forward to seeing this business flourish and grow into a viable company.