Small, smaller, UpNano
Smaller than a needle in a haystack – up to 100 times finer than a human hair – this is the size and scale that UpNano operates in. The company prints objects in the nano and micromillimetre range with a 3D printer – many times faster than their competitors.
UpNano has built, sold, delivered, installed and commissioned 20 printers around the world to date, with each unit costing the customer approximately 500,000 euros. The Viennese start-up will install 15 new printers in 2023. Planning for 2024, including new products, is currently underway.
The UpNano printer is much faster than others, with each printing taking an average of just 20 minutes instead of an entire day. In addition, hardware, software, materials and expertise are all pooled at the Vienna location. The Vienna Business Agency supported the Vienna University of Technology spin-off in its mission to translate research into a concrete product and bring it to market. “Vienna is the perfect business location for us! It offers a great funding landscape that supports the launch of technical innovations.” The only thing Hirner is missing is “a more open-minded approach and a greater willingness to take risks” when it comes to venture capital, says Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer Denise Hirner.
Vienna is famous worldwide for outstanding 3D printing
UpNano is drawing a lot of attention, especially on the international stage: One of UpNanos most experienced application engineer relocated to Boston and works at MIT.nano as a visiting researcher on the NanoOne printing system.
“We are delighted to report that we have also installed two 3D printers in Austria”, says Hirner. Most of their customers, however, come from all over the world. “We support customers from different industries across the globe”, says Hirner. The upNano office will be expanded to around 1,000 square metres for 2023 and will have its own clean room. “Our office and work spaces are growing with us here at the Vienna location, and the Boston location is another significant step for us”, says the 30-year-old entrepreneur.
UpNano GmbH was founded in 2018 as a spin-off of the Vienna University of Technology. The team has developed a high-quality printing system for very small test specimens in the field of plastics. Both the laser-based 3D printer – which is currently the fastest high-resolution 3D printing system on the market – and the corresponding printing materials were developed in-house and extensively tested at the Vienna University of Technology.
The printed structures are durable and high quality. A comprehensive laboratory infrastructure has been set up at the company’s premises in Vienna to support the development of new printing solutions and control boards. Even the control software is developed in-house. The team is primarily made up of experts in the fields of optics, software, hardware, materials and printing. “This close proximity to research and technology is enormously important and helps us to remain innovative and continue to evolve,” says proud Vienna native Hirner.
Funded under the research funding programme “From science to products!”