This piece by Contact Reporter Rebecca Lurye originally appeared in The Hartford Courant October 12, 2018.
Several 3D printing startups have announced plans to maintain a presence in Hartford following their participation in the first Stanley Black & Decker incubator program, which ended with a pitch presentation Thursday night.
Two of the startups now have Connecticut locations, while three more at least have ongoing projects with Stanley, the New Britain-based hand- and power-tool maker, they said at the incubator’s inaugural Demo Day at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center.
Stanley partnered with Colorado-based Tech Stars to hold the three-month program at its new advanced manufacturing center, called Manufactory 4.0, in Downtown Hartford. The Stanley+Tech Stars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator aimed to attract the kind of 3D printing talent that manufacturers need to stay competitive.
“I don’t think that any part of innovation is done on its own, so you need founders, you need academia, you need corporates, you need government, military,” said Jenny Lawton, COO of Tech Stars and a Fairfield resident. She applauded Stanley for creating that network of resources in Hartford.
Over the course of the three-month Additive Manufacturing Accelerator program, Stanley provided seed funding, development and networking to 10 tech startups in the field of 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing.
Stanley’s president and CEO Jim Loree said he viewed 3D printing as both a threat and an opportunity when he took over the corporation in 2016.
“We are living in some of the most challenging and yet exciting times, with the magnitude of threats and potential rewards growing by the day as the relentless pace of technological change continues to accelerate,” Loree said Thursday.
Over the past three months, Stanley has hosted 10 tech startups and their founders at its new Stanley Technology Center, a training and research site still under development at One Constitution Plaza. The companies hailed from Canada, Ireland, Israel, Ukraine, and the United States.
Here’s what four of the companies have to show from their time in the inaugural Stanley+Tech Stars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator:
Founded: 2013, in Ontario, Canada
Tech: Additive manufacturing of soft materials, like silicon, rubber and wood filler—even nutella and honey. Structur3D—pronounced ‘structured”
Connecticut plans: Engineer Harry Zhong, Stanley’s infrastructure innovation technical lead, is using the company’s printer in the development of a prototype.
Other news: Awarded a new provisional patent. The company anticipates bringing in annual revenue of $5 million by 2020.
Founded: 2013, in Odesa, Ukraine
Tech: Ceramic 3D printing of functional and household items, in a range of colors and materials, as well as printing for the aerospace and healthcare industries. Among other things, Kwambio imagines scanning individuals’ bones so in the event of a brake, physicians can 3D print a personalized replacement.
Connecticut plans: Opening a lab in Connecticut this month and launched an industrial-use application with Stanley—as well as GE—in September.
Other news: Recently opened a showroom in London and a headquarters in New York and launched a desktop ceramics printer that will retail for $5,000.
“We’re here for a long time,” CEO Volodymyr Usov said Thursday.
Founded: 2013, in San Diego.
Tech: A cloud-based software platform for 3D printers. Manufacturers pay a licensing fee to embed the software in their printers.
Connecticut plans: Stanley is now its flagship partner and will be using its platform internally across its facilities.
Founded: 2018, in Hartford — spun-off from founder Eric Sammut’s previous company, which he founded in 2013 in Toronto
Tech: A 3D printer that operates like a miniature, modern metal-casting foundry. Creates metal pieces for prototypes and small-batch orders in less than 24 hours.
“This is not just a dream,” Sammut said Thursday.
Connecticut plans: Working with Stanley — and six other manufacturers — on real-use cases. Headquartered at 100 Constitution Plaza, across the street from the new Stanley Technology Center.
Other news: Built several prototypes of its patent-pending 3D printer during the incubator.
Founded: 2014, in Ireland, and relaunched in 2017
Tech: A decentralized process for 3D printing called PMC, which allows users to print without a computer or Internet access.
Connecticut plans: Working with Stanley’s Corporate Social Responsibility team to bring PMC printers to markets around the world.