3D Printers

Interview: Shachar Gafni, CEO, Modix large format 3D printing

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Modix is a global developer of large format 3D printers. It started with small desktop 3D printers, and over the course of 3 years, it now holds a reputation worldwide for offering premium components. Currently, it has sales in 40 countries and last year, it launched Modix Big-60 with a size of 61×61×61cm.

Recently, Modix announced a high-quality kit 3D printer, the Extra Large X120 which was on display at TCT 2018 in the UK. In this interview with the Modix CEO and Founder Shachar Gafni, I gained further insights about the company’s latest model and the 3D printing market in Israel. Gafni comments:

“Our USP is ‘premium components only’. We take pride in the three most important aspects of our printers – modularity, reliability and affordable pricing.”

Modix Big-60 (Left) and Modix Extra Large X120 (Right). Image via Modix
Modix Big-60 (Left) and Modix Extra Large X120 (Right). Image via Modix

Modix Extra Large X120 3D printer

According to Gafni, Modix large format 3D printers offer high quality, heavy duty components that create high volume prototyping and fabrication available for startups, huge R&D labs and design teams at a reasonable price.

The build volume of the Extra Large X120 3D printer is 120×60×60cm. It is available to reserve by pre-order for $6,000 or as modular upgrade to the Modix Big 60 for $2,500.

It embodies reliable E3D print heads, an Alcoa Mic6 print bed, Hiwin motion rails, IGUS Chainflex electronics and additional high-quality parts along with Modix’s latest 100-point automatic bed leveling system. At present, the manufacturer supplies detailed online manuals containing 3D models of sub-assemblies, progressive video assembly instructions, as well as free technical support. As a kit, however, the X120 is just one part of the plan at Modix. Gafni stated:

“Self-assembly products limit our potential. Hence, our next step is to collaborate with the local assembly partners and together we will sell assembled machines.”

A 3D printed shooting cannon made with Modix Big-60. Image via Modix
A 3D printed shooting cannon made with Modix Big-60. Image via Modix

3D printing in Israel

Though based in Israel, Gafni explains that the majority of Modix’s business is conducted in the North America and Europe. “We’re not really active in the Israeli market because we’re not a factory,” he explains, “The Israeli market is small and needs a complete solution. They want the printer assembled and on-site services.”

“The standards of services in Israel are very high and we sell only self-assembly kit which we don’t make in Israel. So, it’s kind of a conflict with their expectations.”

Furthermore, Gafni adds, “In a population of 7 million people, there are many 3D printing companies. XJet, Nano Dimension and of course, Stratasys each have headquarters in the country to name a few.”

“Israel is called the start-up nation, there’s a famous book about it. We’re crazy about development and innovation because education in Israel is not conservative. It is always like do your own thing and find your own way. So, everyone is finding their own way about how to change things,” Gafni adds.

In terms of Modix’s development in such a competitive climate, Gafni says, “We have a community of 3D printing experts in Israel. On all places like forums, Facebook groups, and in global market today, communities are more worldwide. Right now, it has been only one year for us in the international market. Hence, it was better to grow with experienced customers who know how to build printers.”

“In 3D printing, there’s a learning curve. You should first learn how to print before you go into industrial market. And, we are also not capable of providing the training, hence we try to focus on what we do the best,” Gafni concludes.

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Featured image shows Modix Big-60 at TCT 2018 in the UK. Image via Swamini Khanvilkar.