Innovation Interview: Nobula3D’s Impact on Glass Manufacturing
Nobula3D is transforming glass manufacturing with its cutting-edge 3D printing technology, the DGLD™ system. This innovative approach allows for faster, more affordable, and energy-efficient glass production, breaking away from traditional methods.
In a recent success story, Nobula3D secured €2.5 million in non-dilutive grant funding from the EIC Accelerator program, consolidating their path to market readiness. Evolution Europe, a key collaborator, played a crucial role in this achievement by offering specific expertise and support throughout the process.
Read more for an exclusive interview with Chunxin Liu, Nobula3D’s CEO, about the company and their EIC Accelerator success.
1. What sets Nobula3D apart from other glass manufacturing companies? What can businesses achieve with your 3D-glass printer?
Nobula is a 3D printing pioneer that is transforming glass applications using the Direct Glass Laser Deposition (DGLD™) technique. Unlike conventional glass manufacturing, which is cumbersome and offers a low degree of customizability, our technology enables fast, affordable, and energy-efficient glass manufacturing. Nobula’s DGLD system features a novel laser-based glass 3D printer that utilizes thin glass filaments as feedstock, providing a glass foundry on a desk.
From optics and photonics to microfluidics, ultrasonics, and glass art, Nobula is a game-changer. Break free from geometry limitations, design and print with unprecedented precision, and accelerate the journey from prototyping to production by 10-fold. With Nobula’s DGLD system, we’re not just improving glass manufacturing — we’re redefining it.
2. How has the EIC Accelerator program helped Nobula?
The EIC Accelerator program offers a comprehensive suite of funding and support mechanisms that is highly beneficial for Nobula at the prototyping stage.
It provides us non-dilutive grant €2.5 million for innovation activities (TRL 5-8), and equity investments for market deployment (TRL 9). Which allow us to accelerate our product development and make the glass 3D printing system market-ready in 2 years without being distracted for fundraising.
Nobula will receive great business support via Tailor-made Business Acceleration Services (BAS), including access to global partners, coaches, mentors, and training. We go the chance to review our go to market strategy, business model and build a world-class team.
3. What role has collaboration with Evolution played in Nobula3D’s funding strategy with EIC?
We began our partnership with Evolution Europe in 2021 and have found their expertise in the EIC Accelerator essential to our success. Their precise understanding of our goals and proactive engagement helped identify our weaknesses, providing specific advice and coaching for our pitch. Their process facilitated seamless collaboration, and unlike others, Evolution truly invested in our success, extending resources to prepare us for the interview, ensuring we were ready to tackle any question that came our way.
If you’re looking for a team that combines expertise, professionalism, and a practical approach, then I can’t recommend Evolution Europe enough.
4. Please tell us about how Sweden supports innovative start-ups like yours.
Sweden has become a hub for innovative start-ups, particularly in impact and deeptech like Nobula. We started at KTH Innovation, part of the Royal Institute of Technology. They offered support to develop innovative solutions into startups and it’s free. STING, named the world’s best accelerator in 2021, has assisted over 400 startups since 2002 including Nobula, providing business development support and financing. Swedish government funds innovative ideas and strengthens collaboration between tech startups and the industry through funds such as SSF and VINNOVA.
In addition, Sweden’s focus on sustainability, intellectual property laws favoring researchers with new ideas. All these things, makes Sweden an attractive place for innovative startups like us.
5. Can you give us a peek into what’s next for Nobula3D following the Accelerator project?
Nobula is actively expanding the team, focusing on both technical and business fronts.
Our growth is driven by the development of beta printers that are application-specific, designed with particular needs for early adopters. These specialized printers reflect our approach to innovation, ensuring that our technology aligns with industry needs.
As the result, we are preparing to launch a standardized, market-ready printer in two years. We are ambitious to meet industry demands and to make a broader impact on the market.
Nobula will impact optics and microfluidics, areas where our technology can truly shine. Our advancements in glass manufacturing are not just about meeting the existing needs but also about exploring new possibilities. As we grow, we’re excited about the potential to discover new applications.