The Italian company Sandretto, historical injection molding machines producer, introduced a new series of industrial 3d printers. We talked about it with Fausto Ventriglia, CEO of Sandretto S.p.A.

Sandretto, established in 1946 by the Sandretto brothers, went through many changes during the last 2 years, and now is part of Photonike Capital, an Italian-belgian company listed at Paris Stock Exchange. Consequently, a new management came to enhance the production plant based in Pont Canavese (Turin), which includes 40000mq of totally restructured warehouses and open space areas.

Entering the 3d market is part of the strategy adopted by the company, not just to replace the injection molding technology branded Sandretto, but only to give a solid alternative. If a customer needs to produce thousands of pieces, it’s suggested to adopt an injection molding production. But if there’s no time to wait for a dedicated mold, the 3d print is a valid choice.

It’s a short road from injection molding to 3d printing technologies: why did you choose to join the market?

Our product is designed to be used in the workshop, not in a designer’s office. We mapped the machines out in order to achieve this goal. 3d print had a stunning technical development thanks to the Makers community that created many things with their vast knowledge in Arduino hardware, despite their amateur education. Instead of it, we focused on mechatronics: not only more firmness in electronics and hardware, but also a strong body made of aluminum alloy make our printers a top choice for quality printing. Even the compatibility with polymers is top notch: more than twelve kinds of plastics are suitable to print. The Delta printers introduced at Plast Fair 2015 use 1.75mm filaments, and they’ve been tested with PLA, ABS, TPU, HIPS, SEBS and PETG.Our technology also allows the filling thanks to the high quality thermosetting resins that guarantee higher precision results.

In which way did your know-how in thermoplastics become a strength in this market?

Photonike Capital acquired Sandretto just to enter the 3d market because of its history and competence. The strength of “classic” Sandretto had been reflected in the 3d division, starting from the client portfolio. Sandretto knew what the traditional pressman wants, and every material properties.

How comes your offer in 3d printing? They are designed for professionals, so, what kind of needs do they satisfy?

Our series is designed to support the molded production. We took to the extreme the limits of the existing 3d printers, our smallest model has a 25x40cm plate, the medium is 40x70cm and the largest is 70x110cm. So, they are larger than our competitors’ machines, and faster in linear terms (up to 60g/h of printing speed). The extruders have a deposit capacity three times more than the competitors: this makes them highly professional. The investment plan will end in 2017 and it’s not just about plastics. About plastic industry, three models are in sale from January 2016, then, 2 other models: one is dedicated to the industrial production, making the cycle equivalent to injection molding, a real world premiere. The other one is already developed. It will be on sale at the cost of 8000 Euros, sized 18x24cm. We have planned a 8 million investment.

Which are the expectations?

3d market is peculiar, having the right machine is not enough, it’s also essential to have a “3d culture” and a high knowledge in software, too. We are also going to invest in the creation of optional devices, software and technical services.

We have high expectations regarding product quality, believing in 3d, the Sandretto of the future. In our plans, the sales volume of 3d division shall be equal to the income of the injection molding, we will propose ourselves as 3d retailers more and more, but also as a dealer of hybrid solutions, considering the many similarities between these two worlds. The products are the result of the synergy between these technologies, emerging the needs of final producers in the integration of technologies, volumes and complexity.

About 3d, which are the strategy priorities of Sandretto?

At the moment we still have a first line production plant that made 200 printers between October and December 2015. We employed almost 20 people in R&D and production, and also prepared a lab – Sandretto Skunk Works – to manage the development of technologies. The sales started in January 2016: the distribution will be managed by direct stores where it will be possible to print, teach and provide technical assistance. There will be also exclusive selling points and official retailers. The distribution plan is aggressive, both in Italy and abroad, where we can count on our official partners and agents. We will also have a catalogue dedicated to consumable products, for a high level professional offer.

Are you planning any partnership with the Makers world?

There are many competitive companies and Makers communities in Italy, and we’re opened to any option.

Source – Written by Staff