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va-Q-tec AG invests in 3D printing startup ING3D

Business Plan Competition Northern Bavaria: Competition winners from 2000 and 2020 join forces

Together with a Hamburg-based co-investor, va-Q-tec AG is investing a seven-figure sum in the 3D printing startup ING3D. The investment enables the purely mineral-based series production of novel 3D-printed insulation and filter materials.

David Manjura, owner and founder of ING3D, says:

With va-Q-tec, we have the technology leader in the field of high-performance insulation materials on board as an important shareholder. The joint, medium-term goal is to further expand the technological innovation lead in the coming years with unique 3D-printed products.

Ing3D (Foto: BayStartUP / Andreas Gebert)

The 3D printing startup ING3D from Fürth, winner of the North Bavaria 2020 business plan competition, secures seven-figure financing. The strategic lead investor is the Würzburg-based company va-Q-tec AG, pioneer for highly efficient products and solutions in the field of thermal super insulation and temperature-controlled logistics. va-Q-tec is participating together with a co-investor from Hamburg. More than 20 years ago, the company, like ING3D today, started with support from BayStartUP, among others, and was able to win the university start-up prize of the Businessplan Wettbewerb Nordbayern in 2000. Since September 2016, va-Q-tec has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. 

Promising cooperation

The combination of the two companies' innovative manufacturing processes and products enables the first 3D-printed ceramic insulation material. With this, the two companies want to usher in a new era in the topic of high-performance insulation. In addition to the joint development of high-temperature insulation materials with va-Q-tec, the founders now want to use the funds from the investment to raise production capacity to industrial scale. For example, they want to expand the prototype of their 3D printing system with a larger and faster pilot system.

Dr. Carsten Rudolph, Managing Director of BayStartUP, says:

I am thrilled to see two "startup generations" working together here. We have seen similar investment structures in Silicon Valley for a long time and I am convinced that this is also very promising here. Especially the still quite fresh knowledge of typical startup developments on the side of the "big" simply has invaluable advantages!

Dr. Joachim Kuhn, CEO and founder of va-Q-tec, says:

The goal of our cooperation with ING3D is to develop a new type of 3D-printed insulation material that even allows complex geometries, for example for the high-temperature range. In this way, we are pushing the topic of "energy efficiency" in our product portfolio: In this business sector, we have the ambition to ensure even more energy efficiency and thus sustainability, for example, in the construction and vehicle industry with the help of our VIPs. We are very much looking forward to the cooperation and are very excited about the new opportunities it will open up!

The founding team of ING3D consists of Aleksander Sen and David Manjura. Sen has been active in the 3D printing scene for many years as a self-taught engineer, also designing and building FDM and SLS printers in his spare time, as well as all kinds of fixtures from coaters to mills to quadrocopters. Manjura is a graduate engineer (FH) in materials technology and worked for six years in the construction industry as an application engineer. Since 2016, he has been self-employed as an entrepreneur and consultant for building products.

New possibilities in material production

A basic component of the va-Q-tec product portfolio are so-called vacuum insulation panels (VIPs), which insulate up to ten times better than conventional materials. Due to their optimal insulation properties, they are mostly used where very good insulation is required despite limited space.

ING3D technology complements these products: With the 3D printing technology developed by ING3D, it is possible to produce extremely light, non-combustible and arbitrarily shaped lightweight materials. The "Mineral Direct Laser Sintering" (MDLS) process, for which the startup has filed an international patent, opens up completely new possibilities in material production: The ceramic raw material used can be processed into ecologically compatible and at the same time cost-effective moulded parts. This is done without the previously necessary plastic content in the starting material. This results in pure and ecologically harmless, lightweight objects. The end products can be used multifunctionally and thus offer advantages in terms of acoustic and thermal insulation as well as fire protection, especially when space is limited. These properties and the combination with the va-Q-tec insulation technology thus also enable completely new approaches in the construction and vehicle industry.

Photo © Andreas Gebert

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