Shenzhen Hifuture files to invest $45M in XJet metal and ceramic 3D printing

Chinese electrical equipment and mobile game developer Shenzhen Hifuture Information Technology Co. Ltd. has revealed its intentions to invest up to $45 million in ceramic and metal 3D printing provider XJet.

The impending deal has been heralded by a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange made by Shenzhen Hifuture on September 25th. In the document, the company outlines that it initially plans to invest $25 million in XJet, with an additional $20 million to be delivered at a later date.

In another announcement following the filing, Shenzhen Hifuture adds that the intention of the investment is to help expand XJet’s business in China, including establishment of a regional manufacturing site and making Hifuture the preferred supplier for XJet machine parts and raw materials.

As the deal is not yet complete, an XJet spokesperson told 3D Printing Industry that the company “does not have a comment at this time.”

“If and once the deal is complete,” they added, “XJet may issue a statement.”

Sample ceramic 3D printed using NPJ. Photo via XJet
Sample ceramic parts 3D printed at XJet. Photo via XJet

XJet NanoParticle Jetting

Headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, XJet is the provider of a trademark NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) 3D printing method. Unlike other metal additive methods (SLM, DMLS, EBM) NPJ does not melt material, and so parts avoid related defects, like residual stresses. It also means that no powder handling is required, limiting the risk of particle contamination and health and safety concerns.

In NPJ, chosen nanoparticles (ceramic or metallic) are jetted into a liquid which then forms a shell around them. After deposition onto the build platform, this liquid evaporates, leaving behind fused layers of ceramic or metal. Eventually, the goal for XJet is to be able to simultaneously 3D print multiple materials, with the metal forming the body of the part, and the ceramic acting as support material (which would be much easier to remove than more metal).

NPJ technology is currently available from XJet in its Carmel range of systems; the Carmel 1400 and the smaller Carmel 700. Following the official release of both of its system in 2017, XJet has been building its application portfolio, and its reseller network

The XJet Carmel 1400 NanoParticle Jetting system. Image via XJet
The XJet Carmel 1400 NanoParticle Jetting system. Image via XJet

About Shenzhen Hifuture

Shenzhen Hifuture was founded in 1999 and successfully listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2007. It has two primary areas of business, one side in entertainment, operating mobile games and managing online marketing traffic, the other in electronic equipment manufacturing. The latter arm of the business manufactures, among other things, low voltage cable connection boxes,  silicone rubber insulation products and SMC electrical equipment enclosures.

Since it’s foundation in 2005, XJet has raised over $135 million to date. If the deal with Shenzhen Hifuture goes through, it would bring the total raised over the years to more than $180 million.

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Featured image shows a polished metal part 3D printed by XJet. Photo via XJet