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Breakthrough 3D-Manufacturing Technology for Automated, Rapid, Sustainable and Cost-Effective Products made in Real, Solid Wood

Request Number N063248
Author Kevin Andrews
Need details
Description

Investment opportunity to partner in a project supported by Canadian Government funding to prototype and commercialize a unique, industrial grade Additive Manufacturing machine for solid wood (does not use powdered wood or sawdust)

 

AXYZ Industries Ltd. is a technology company that has passed technical due-diligence by the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program.  This offers the potential to receive federal funding via non-repayable contribution of up to 50% of the USD $2.4 Million project costs based on final approval of all parties.  As such, 4 AXYZ is seeking investments totaling USD $1.2 Million in order cover the remaining 50% the project.

 

To respond to this Expert opportunity, please follow the link to access and complete our Investor Interest Form.

Background

4 AXYZ has a patent-pending process & machine, developed as a novel computer-controlled operation to allow Stratified Additive Manufacturing (SAM) that rapidly builds layers of real wood to create a wide range of solid wood products such as furniture, doors, windows, picture frames, architectural elements, and others.  With this process, a fully customized high quality dining table and 6 chairs can be ready for delivery in a matter of days. This personifies just-in-time manufacturing and mass-customization possibilities.

 

Cost-Effective, Sustainable and High Quality

 

The Additive or 3D Manufacturing process uses a unique and automated process of extruding a precise number of wood layers, to build the final object. The process is optimized to avoid the warehousing a large inventory of raw material and thereby achieve further reductions in the cost of the final product. 

 

The dramatic reduction in wasted wood (down to about 20% from the industry average of 52%.), is another major advantage.  Using this additive manufacturing approach not only reduces cost but enhances sustainability as it more fully and effectively utilizes this natural resource. For example even simple objects like picture frames use conventional subtractive operations at waste-levels exceeding 75%

 

Distinctive Features of the Technology

 

  • The machine has a tiny footprint of 14’ X 20’ - eliminating a need for large centralized operations
  • Has a massive build size up to 5’(w) X 10’(l) X 2.25’(h) - not yet feasible in commercial 3D Printing
  • Builds various articles in the same production cycle – enabling fulfillment of multiple orders
  • Works directly off CAD design files to conduct its activity – a digital operation from start to finish
  • Consistently produces identical objects (given the CAD input) – accurate to 0.1mm
  • Builds customized objects just as easily (by tweaking the CAD file) – no more discontinued items
  • Works 3 shifts daily for 360 days annually, if needed – using the latest machine technologies
  • Can incorporate up to 24 different species of wood simultaneously – unheard of in conventional processes

 

Business Opportunity

 

The principal conveniences resulting in cost-efficiencies are:

a) Extreme automation,

b) Minuscule inventory, and,

c) Just-in-time production.

These ingredients are a primary demand by woodworking companies under current and conventional manufacturing conditions.

 

In broad terms: a single SAM unit can yield a retail revenue ranging from $2.5Million-$3.8Million - varying by product category. Machine operation, maintenance and raw material costs would be 50% of revenue, or less.  For solid-wood products sales of $75 Billion in North America alone, there

is room to sell a large number of SAM. This potential to sell thousands of machines is the primary revenue stream.

 

For Non-Forestry Companies / Investors: Revenue comes from sale of hardware (SAM Machines), and optionally from finance, maintenance contracts and sale of specialized consumables.

 

For Forestry Companies: Participation in this opportunity brings all of the above and additional profits via manufacture and sale of product in a highly decentralized manner.

 

Key Aspects:  NAFTA Friendly / Reshored manufacturing / North American Standards / Environmentally friendly methods

 

Founders of 4 AXYZ (pronounced “Four Axes”) bring 27 years of experience of industry, design, technology and manufacturing.  Additionally experts and scientists lend their specialized knowldege along with key consultants and Silicon Valley veterans who are ready to guide the venture to success.

 

Investor’s funds of CAD $1,600,000 (approx. USD $1,150,000) will cover:

 

500,000 Engineering costs

450,000 SAM Machine chassis

150,000 Engineered components

250,000 Contingencies (above 3 items)

150,000 Utilities+operational costs

100,000 Raw material

 

Contact Information

 

If you are an industry expert, investor, entrepreneur or company that is interested in this game-changing manufacturing process or can refer NineSigma and 4 AXYZ to an interested investor, click on the Investor Interest Form which will connect you with the 4 AXYZ team for initial non-confidential discussions. 

 

Up to USD $300 for successful referrals

 

Selected respondents can receive an initial USD $100 for a qualified referral, with the opportunity for an additional USD $200 if the referral results in a successful agreement.  Responding does not imply any obligation to NineSigma or 4 AXYZ. 

 

PROTOTYPE PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED USING THE SAM PROCESS

The patent pending SAM machine will combine all 4 manufacturing steps required to produce the products below using a completely automated process

 

 

The Sushi Tray and Fruit Bowl are examples of how Oak and Walnut have been used in combination in the same object.

 

The Fruit Bowl has over 80% less waste compared to conventional manufacturing that needs a large block of wood to mill out the shape.

 

 

CONVENTIONAL MANUFACTURING:

  1. To make a simple footstool as shown, 9 different components need to be cut, sawn and extracted from larger sections of wood, resulting in considerable waste and a need for precision for each piece.  These are the 8 pieces for the legs and one for the top of the stool.
  2. Next, each piece must be shaped and prepared for joinery.
  3. Then they must be manually glued and joined for assembly of the legs and top
  4. Furthermore, the stool has to be manually checked for level and stability.
  5. Finally planing and fine finishing needs to be done to clean up the joints and surfaces.
  6. Activities in 2, 3, 4 and 5 above need a variety of tools and skilled labor, so they cannot be undertaken satisfactorily by a novice.
  7. IF ALL RAW MATERIAL WAS HANDY TO BEGIN WITH, the stool would require a minimum of one man-day to produce.

 

STRATIFIED ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING:

  1. SAM requires no sawing, and shaping of lumber and saves on material consumption – approx. 55% saving for the legs and about 15% saving for the top.
  2. Production is done directly from CAD files.  This is fully-automated using real, solid wood.
  3. The stool is now only 3 pieces instead of 9 – the legs and cross-members on either side are a pre-joined, four-in-one-piece monolithic construction (2 pieces), and the top is the 3rd piece.
  4. Milling is done by the SAM machine immediately after, or during 3D-Manufacturing, so the components are already perfect up to accuracies of 0.1mm as they come of the machine bed.
  5. A few drops of glue and 6 screws (into pre-drilled pilot holes) allow the table to be assembled by a 16-year-old unskilled person with merely a screwdriver - stronger than Swedish CKD furniture and easier to assemble.

With relatively small inventory of raw material, the production time on the SAM machine would be approximately 2 hours and assembly would require about 7-10 minutes.

Key Success Criteria
  
Possible Approaches
  
Approaches not of interest
  
Preferred Collaboration types
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted
To respond to this Expert opportunity, please follow the link to access and complete our Investor Interest Form. The link will transfer you to a short, online form where you will have the opportunity to highlight your interest in this technology. Note that in addition to this form you will also have the option to upload up to three (3) documents in addition to your response.
Point of Contact
Kevin Andrews
Area of Interest
  • Agriculture & Forestry
  • Building & Construction
  • Energy & Power Production
  • Manufacturing & Fabrication
  • Packaging
Organization
NRCan
Due Date
December 30, 2016
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