Houston innovators podcast episode 121
Why this innovator wants to make Houston a hub for 3D printing
When Alessio Lorusso founded his company in 2014, he saw a huge gap in the 3D printing market — and he wanted to be the person to fill it.
Lorusso, CEO and founder of Roboze, shares on the Houston Innovators Podcast, that historically 3D printing has been used for prototypes and testing, before companies decide to turn to larger scale manufacturing — typically done overseas.
"I thought at that time — and still today — that 3D printing needed to demonstrate that it was a real capable technology to produce and use parts instead of prototypes," Lorusso says. "This was my goal — and still is my goal — to bring this technology to the production shop floor."
Now, Roboze works with companies to put their large-scale 3D printer on site to support in-house part and tool creation. Roboze's technology, the ARGO 1000 has the ability to produce parts up to one cubic meter — about 40 inches by 40 inches by 40 inches. This size of output allows for on-demand manufacturing at scale. Additionally, the device uses more sustainable and high-performing super polymers and composites such as PEEK, Carbon PEEK and ULTEM ™ AM9085F.
"We are helping our customers to digitize their inventory," Lorusso says on the podcast, "but this is much more than 3D printing. This is supply chain reshaping. This is a production reshoring."
Roboze, which recently completed a multimillion-dollar fundraise, has seen explosive growth due in large part to how COVID-19 has affected the global supply chain over this past two years.
"This was an incredible accelerator for us," he says, adding that, while Roboze has attracted large corporate customers, the business is seeing growth in the small to mid-sized company sector.
"The moment is now," Lorusso says. "The time to integrate printing capabilities and have the possibility to print parts in house is something that needs to be done now."
Roboze set up its United States headquarters in Houston in the summer of 2020, and has hit the ground running in terms of connecting to the ecosystem. Lorusso observes that some of the city's key industries — health care, aerospace, energy, and transportation — are all ripe for disruption by 3D printing — and by Roboze specifically.
"We are super committed in making Houston one of the most important cities in the U.S. for 3D printing. What we are trying to create is an ecosystem in the city," he says. "There is an incredible potential."
Lorusso shares more on where he sees the future of 3D printing heading and why he's committed to Houston on the podcast. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.