3D Metal Printing: Ukrainian xBeam Technology Ready for Breakthrough Moment

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

3D printing is a technology of the future that is available today. You can 3D print basically anything, from desserts to interior design models, and it is faster and cheaper than conventional manufacturing. 

While various materials are used for 3D printing, metal is the most promising. It is more expensive than using plastics, but saves on materials and increases output. 

Currently, there are only a few 3D metal printers in the world. One of the largest, the xBeam 3D metal printer, is located in Ukraine. Developed by the Chervona Khvylia (Red Wave) company, it significantly simplifies and speeds up parts manufacturing while saving money.

However, 3D metal printing requires very specific quality controls. “We studied this issue for a long time and experimented, attempting to establish our own monitoring system. Finally, we compared the options on the market and found the most suitable equipment, but we didn’t have the funds,” recalls Dmytro Kovalchuk, Chervona Khvylia director and co-creator of the xBeam technology.

When Mr. Kovalchuk learned about the grant-making component of USAID’s Competitive Economy Program (CEP), he realized that it was an opportunity to take another innovative step in refining its 3D manufacturing capabilities. With a USAID grant in hand, the team procured a system to monitor the production processes. “Now we don’t need to watch the printing process for hours to prevent faults. The new monitoring system records video in high definition,” explained Mr. Kovalchuk.

USAID also provided support for participation in international trade shows and conferences where the xBeam team could demonstrate the technology’s unique features. Plans changed with the onset of COVID-19, with many trade shows cancelled and conferences moved online. Despite the quarantine restrictions, Chervona Khvylia continues to engage. Many of their clients are at the front line of industrial development, seeking technologies that others don’t have.

“The USAID grant allowed us to improve our equipment and bring xBeam closer to widespread industrial use. Now we are positioned to complete the most demanding orders,” Mr. Kovalchuk said.

Last updated: November 19, 2021

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