DyeMansion is a leading innovator in the field of post processing for 3D printed parts, offering bespoke technology to automates time-consuming colouring, surfacing, and cleaning processes.
As well as saving time and producing a more consistent result than manual alternatives, DyeMansion’s products bring predictability and repeatability to the closing stages of any industrial polymer 3D printing process. Its customers span a diverse set of industries, including healthcare, automotive and lifestyle, with names like BMW, Daimler and Under Armor relying on its processes in their product development.
From pocket problems to production perfection
Founded in a Munich basement in 2013, when it was trading as Trindo, DyeMansion’s first product was a 3D printed smartphone case. That modest start-up is almost unrecognisable today. Less than a decade later, it has raised close to $25 million through multiple rounds of funding, and signed strategic partnerships with Stratasys, EOS and Siemens.
Yet founders Philipp Kramer and Felix Ewald have good reason to be glad that their first venture was in smartphone case production, and particularly for an imperfection in one of their early batches.
When the dye used on 200 units started rubbing off in customers’ pockets, and staining the fabric of their trousers, the partners had to make a decision. Should they try again, using the technology they already had to hand, or should they look to solve the problem independently? They chose the latter.
Kramer and Ewald developed their own, innovative process for fixing the colour to their cases and, confident that the problem wouldn’t recur, they started work on the next batch of covers. Fortunately, that was just the start of their story.
Investment, and a name change
As inventors of a brand-new process for indelibly colouring powder-printed parts, Trindo had valuable knowledge and experience, and it soon attracted the interest of EOS Founder Arno Held, and his investment vehicle, AM Ventures, which, in its own words, backs “trailblazing entrepreneurs who transform the world with industrial 3D printing.”
Held clearly saw the potential in their idea and, putting his money where his mouth is, he encouraged them to consider its full potential, not only as an integral part of their smartphone production business, but as a business in its own right. Trindo became DyeMansion and, with a more ambitious outlook, it started work on what would become a fully rounded line up for finishing, perfecting, cleaning and colouring 3D printed parts.
DyeMansion wows at Formnext
Just nine months after Held made his investment, DyeMansion debuted its first product, the DM60. Unveiled at 2015’s Formnext exhibition, it was the world’s first fully automated colouring solution and, so radical was it, that it won the Formnext Start-up Challenge.
Twelve months later, DM60 was back at Formnext, where it sat alongside Powershot, DyeMansion’s surfacing solution. These two products were just the starting point for what would become a fully rounded product line, and the Formnext Start-up Challenge was the first of many awards that followed in short order.
Investment for a greener future
In February 2022, the European Investment Bank and European Innovation Council each announced separate investments in DyeMansion to secure its long-term development. DyeMansion had already been recognised as a potential green leader and was poised to help the European Union achieve its commitments under the Horizon 2020 program. This was in large part thanks to its work in developing Powerfuse S, its first product using clean vapour technology to smooth and seal products without leakage or waste due to its closed loop construction.
DyeMansion’s product line now encompasses not only colouring hardware, but also surfacing solutions and advanced parts cleaning. Enjoying broad compatibility with leading manufacturers’ powder-based 3D printers, they integrate closely with the wider production process, can run unattended, and ensure every product has the best possible finish, whatever its application.
DyeMansion now has many partners, and works with resellers, around the globe and, in 2021, it partnered with Stratasys to deliver an overarching architecture to produce 3D-printed parts with a consistent high-quality finish.
Swiss eyewear manufacturer Gotti was one of the first in its field to employ 3D printing in the production of its products. By creating bespoke glasses, rather than solely relying on mass production, it can use a range of lightweight materials to produce a custom result. As much a fashion statement as they are an aid to seeing well, glasses need to both feel and look good, and customers must be confident that, when wearing them, they always look their best.
Using DyeMansion technology allowed Gotti to innovate with colour, in the certainty that results would be predictable and reproducible, and not cause any problems when they came into contact with customers’ skin. The company now cleans finished parts in a DyeMansion Powershot C, polishes and treats them with a Powershot S, and finally dyes the frames in a DM60. The complete process takes less than three hours.
Gotti is just one of several leading brands that have benefited from DyeMansion technology. Under Armor has turned to DyeMansion in its production of a 3D printed insole, Neiff in the development of knife handles, Reebok in the manufacture of a mask for altitude training and Daimler Buses, which was looking for a way to print spare parts at quality that would rival injection moulded alternatives.
DyeMansion and Laser Lines
DyeMansion announced its selection of Laser Lines as an authorised reseller at TCT 3Sixty in 2021. This made Laser Lines the first DyeMansion reseller in the UK to offer both Stratasys SAF technology and the full DyeMansion workflow.
Commenting on Laser Lines’ appointment, sales director Mark Tyrtania said, “With the addition of the H350 and Origin One P3, Stratasys’ Additive Manufacturing technology is quickly moving into the true production environment. To offer a genuinely viable production solution we needed to look at the entire workflow, from the 3D printing of parts through to the finished article. By adding the DyeMansion range of products to our portfolio we are now able to offer customers an end-to-end post processing turnkey solution.”