The additive manufacturing market, otherwise known as 3D printing, surpassed $5 billion in 2015. With industries from automobile to furniture to attire using the process, it stands to grow even more in years ahead.
But in order to produce basic parts like the soles of shoes or automobile parts, 3D printers usually first require a tooling mold, which requires a lot of money and a lot of time upfront — all expended before the parts are even getting cranked out.
With their innovative machine and proprietary technology, Collider Tech stands to revolutionize this process. It all goes back to that mold. Instead of a permanent, hard tooling mold, Collider’s 3D printing machine, called Orchid, creates a thin, dissolvable shell. By doing this, Collider is able to help manufacturers produce on-demand parts — in materials ranging from silicon to rubber to metal — faster and cheaper.
Founded in 2015 and based in Chattanooga, TN, the founding team has deep experience in their industry. Founder and CEO Graham Bredemeyer is well-schooled in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing world — he left college to focus on the industry and built a self-directed curriculum focused on 3D printing. Now a team of 5, they recently graduated from Techstars Atlanta and are well on their way to releasing a beta version of the machine.
Injection molding quality parts aren’t easily accessible at low volumes and 3D printing cannot deliver injection molding quality parts. This means manufacturers lose months in late stage product development and tens of thousands of dollars. Collider makes a machine that makes parts in silicone, rubber, and metal 10x faster and 50x cheaper than traditional manufacturing.
Please describe the market impact.
Production runs can be smaller, more frequent, and allow for more testing. Collider’s patent pending process is a complete paradigm shift in the industry, allowing literally thousands of manufacturers to design and test at a fraction of the cost at previously unheard of speeds. This means better mass produced products and hiqh quality customized products.
We are going to market with a managed service, where dedicated machines are run by our team and materials used to make parts are sold based on usage. This will allow us to continue developing our technology while offering a great service to paying customers.
Once our technology has reached a more mature state, we plan to sell our machines to customers who will use them on their own at their facility and sell the materials that are used in the machine to make parts.
How did you come up with this idea?
My background is in industrial 3D printing. I’ve worked for the largest 3D printing-on-demand service in the U.S. and I’ve helped bring multiple 3D printing technologies to life. When I started working with traditional manufacturers I saw that mold making was the Achilles Heel of everyone’s late stage product development process or low volume manufacturing. With my background, I saw a way to combine the most optimal 3D printing technology in the world with the most optimal manufacturing process in the world, injection molding. With this idea, Collider was born.
Have you had to change your business model at all since inception?
Yes. Collider did not always intend on going to market via a managed service. We initially planned to go directly to shipping machines, but the pivot allows for getting to market faster and gives the company more time to develop technology before shipping machines outside our facility.
Who are your competitors and why are you different?
Our biggest competitors in 3D printing are Carbon, 3DSystems, and EnvisionTEC. Collider stands out by being the only company that offers production materials — materials that make up products on shelves today. All of our competitors are engineering custom resins for their machine to differentiate from one another. At Collider, we custom engineered a machine to work with almost any manufacturing material in the world. We did this because the world is filled with incredible manufacturing materials that the industry has been using to mass produce for decades.
How does being headquartered in the southeast affect your company?
The southeast is filled with manufacturing companies. The type of companies that need Collider’s technology for late stage product development or mass customization have homes here. We’re excited to have such close proximity to great customers and manufacturing expertise.
Are you hiring?
Yes! Collider is hiring full stack software engineers and mechatronics engineers.
What are your next steps?
Collider is working to secure 5 beta machine commitments by the end of the year to kick off our beta program.
Holly Beilin contributed to article development