Earlier this year, it was announced that Zecotek Photonics, a manufacturer of medical imaging systems, 3D displays, and lasers, had decided to get into the 3D printing market by developing their own 3D printer, in conjunction with Greek-Armenian company LT-Pyrkal. The company has made another announcement that they’re bringing Russian firepower to their 3D printer project. Aquarius, a member of Russia’s National Computer Corporation, will be purchasing 20% of the subsidiary Zecotek Display Systems Pte Ltd. for $7 million in order to complete its high-speed 3D printer.
With over 200 service centers in 135 cities in Russia, Aquarius’s product portfolio includes PCs, servers, notebooks, and data storage systems, among other things. In addition to aiding Zecotek in finalizing the commercialization of two 3D displays, the company will help Zecotek with work on their 3D printing technology. Altogether, Aquarius will be owning 20% of a subsidiary responsible for Zecotek’s following products, according to the press release: “Flat screen, front projection 3D auto-stereoscopic display; large format, rear projection 3D auto-stereoscopic display; 3D printer technology; new material alloys and semiconducting for 3D printing;” and “accompanying interfaces for all 3D technologies.”
CEO of Zecotek Photonics, Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, relays the news, “The development of this relationship with Aquarius is a significant endorsement of our 3D display and printing technologies. It is also a pleasant story as our Canadian based 3D team of scientists are of Russian origin. By partnering with Aquarius and the National Computer Corporation of Russia through this strategic investment, Zecotek will complete the commercialization and integration of the 3D printer technology, the patented auto-stereoscopic 3D flat screen monitor, and the auto-stereoscopic 3D large format screen. Aquarius has recognized the value of our 3D technologies and we look forward to collaborating further for a speedy move to commercialization of our patented and patent pending technologies.”
Executive Vice President of Aquarius Group and CEO of the Production Company Aquarius, Vladimir Shibanov, points out the link between the company’s 3D displays and the 3D printing technology, saying, “Zecotek’s unique 3D technologies provide for value added solutions and find clear synergy with our products. The possibilities are real and varied. A high speed, auto-stereoscopic multiple view and glasses free desktop monitor would open many applications and so would the interfaced 3D printing peripherals. We look forward to executing the LOI and providing Zecotek 3D Company, with the necessary support to complete their work and take their products to market.”
The press release hints at the use of 3D displays with the company’s 3D printing interface, which implies software that may display CAD models in 3D before printing, something that, if 3D screens do take off, will become a standard part of 3D printing programs. Perhaps, with their imaging systems, the company is looking into 3D scanners, as well. Their “new alloys” and “semiconducting” materials also imply a hope to 3D print electronic components. And, because the company is accustomed to working with lasers, I wonder if their 3D printer will be a stereolithography or laser sintering machine. Needless to say, we’ll have to wait and see what actually develops with Zecotek.