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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jun. 5, 2020 4 weeks ago

Biotech firm seizes opportunity to launch new product line

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SynDaver gets into the 3D printing business.

SynDaver, a Tampa company that produces lifelike synthetic human and animal bodies for use in education and medical device testing, has grown its product line yet again with Axi, a line of 3D printers for both professionals and hobbyists. 

The venture, according to a news release, has also resulted in the formation of a new business unit, SynDaver West, headquartered in Loveland, Colo. The opportunity came about when Aleph Objects, which makes LulzBot 3D printers, was sold last year. Aleph, now known as Fargo Additive Manufacturing Equipment 3D, moved its operations from Colorado to North Dakota in January, but a group of employees chose not to move with the company and were let go. 

Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder and CEO of SynDaver, tells Coffee Talk he didn’t hesitate to bring on the former Aleph employees, and he would have bought the company if he had known it was for sale. 

“They just left all of these people with all of this experience high and dry,” Sakezles says, adding he offered to move the ex-Aleph workers to Tampa but they all declined, so he chose to open a SynDaver office in Loveland. “We put operations where the people are. So essentially what we have in Loveland is an additive manufacturing R&D group. They will be designing products and the manufacturing will be done in Tampa.” 

Curt Ketner, vice president of SynDaver, says Axi is based on a popular open-source design SynDaver has tweaked and improved. 

“When we designed this printer, we incorporated the best features from every other leading printer currently available, fine-tuned them to ensure the printer works amazingly well and made it rugged and remarkably reliable,” Ketner states in the release. “This printer can be used by companies with a need for serious 3D printing capabilities or by 3D printing hobbyists, and we even took security into consideration, so this can be immediately adopted and deployed by the military while maintaining operational security.”

Axi printers are priced at $3,250 and can be purchased directly from SynDaver via its website. Amazon, Matterhackers, Mouser, Digikey and Print Your Mind are also expected to carry the product. 

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