SWISSto12’s satellite 3D printing venture receives a credit boost of $27 million from UBS.


SWISSto12, a leading satellite and Radio Frequency (RF) product manufacturer, has secured an impressive CHF 25 million ($27.3 million) in credit from Swiss bank UBS. This funding will mainly be used to support the growing demand for the HummingSat satellite, a product that stands out due to SWISSto12’s innovative patented 3D printing technology.

Emile de Rijk, the Founder and CEO of SWISSto12, expressed his enthusiasm about the funding, stating that it provides the company with the necessary resources to manufacture and deliver their first HummingSats and meet the increasing customer demand. The HummingSat is a game-changer in the industry as it offers an agile, high-performance SmallSat for geostationary orbit. It is about three to five times smaller and more cost-effective than conventional geostationary satellites, while still ensuring reliable delivery of critical services.

SWISSto12 was established in 2011 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Since then, it has secured over €50 million ($53 million) from major investors in Switzerland and Europe, including Constantia New Business (CNB Capital), Swisscom Ventures, Swisscanto, and Zürcher Kantonalbank.

The company’s groundbreaking use of 3D printing technology in satellite design and manufacturing has been a game-changer. This patented technology not only allows for the production of advanced RF products for aerospace applications such as telecommunications, electronic warfare, and radar, but also opens the door to groundbreaking advancements in satellite design. The HummingSat is a prime example of this innovation. It is named after the agile and seemingly stationary hummingbird and is set to revolutionize space solutions with its compact design. These SmallSats are just over one cubic meter in size, making them three to ten times smaller than traditional satellites. This reduction in size significantly cuts costs and provides an opportunity for ridesharing during rocket launches, allowing them to hitch a ride with larger spacecraft.

Thanks to the support of over €30 million ($32 million) from the European Space Agency (ESA), the ambitious HummingSat platform project is on track. The first-of-its-kind satellite designed for geostationary orbit is scheduled for launch in 2025. SWISSto12’s strategic collaboration with ESA and their pioneering approach to satellite manufacturing solidify their position as a leader in the aerospace industry, showcasing the potential of 3D printing in revolutionizing space technology.

The year 2022 marked a significant milestone for SWISSto12, as Intelsat, a prominent satellite and terrestrial network operator, became its first commercial customer by choosing the innovative HummingSat geostationary telecommunications satellite. The company continued to thrive in 2023 with a deal to supply three HummingSats to Inmarsat, which had recently been acquired by Viasat. Pär Lange, a partner at Swisscom Ventures, emphasized the importance of these achievements, recognizing SWISSto12 as the first growth-stage company to sell a whole geostationary satellite to global operators. This underscores the immense market potential of the HummingSat platform and the technical and commercial expertise of the SWISSto12 team. With over €200 million ($212 million) in customer orders, SWISSto12 is in a strong position to revitalize the geostationary communications market.

SWISSto12’s promising partnerships with established names in the industry, including Thales Alenia Space, Elbit, IAI, and ESA, further demonstrate the confidence in the company’s capabilities. With a focus on 3D printing complex satellite parts, SWISSto12 has already incorporated hundreds of products into in-orbit satellites, including the Thales Eutelsat Konnect satellite, as well as satellites from Inmarsat and NSLComm.

As the space industry continues to evolve, innovation becomes key. 3D printing has gained significant traction in recent years, with aerospace leaders like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Rocket Lab incorporating it for various components, from engines to structural elements. As the world becomes more interconnected, the demand for reliable and efficient satellite communication is set to increase. SWISSto12 aims to meet this demand through its application of 3D printing technology and strong industry partnerships, offering groundbreaking solutions that will shape the future of space technology.

The recent financing from UBS for SWISSto12 is a clear indication of the potential that this innovative company has in the ever-evolving aerospace industry. It is exciting to see how technology, banking, and aerospace are intertwining to create groundbreaking solutions.

However, it is crucial to be cautious about the blurring lines between these industries. While collaboration can lead to great advancements, it is important to ensure that ethical boundaries are not crossed. The world of banking, technology, and aerospace should remain separate entities, each with its own set of rules and regulations.

As the 3D printing industry continues to grow, it is important to stay updated on all the latest news and developments. This will enable us to fully understand the potential impact that this technology can have in various sectors. By staying informed, we can make informed decisions and take advantage of the opportunities that arise.

In addition to staying updated, it is also beneficial to receive information and offers from third-party vendors. These vendors can provide valuable insights and solutions that can further enhance our understanding and implementation of 3D printing technology. It is important to carefully evaluate these offers and ensure that they align with our goals and values.

In conclusion, the financing from UBS for SWISSto12 signifies the potential that this company holds in the aerospace industry. While the convergence of banking, technology, and aerospace is promising, it is crucial to maintain the integrity of each industry. By staying informed and collaborating with trusted vendors, we can navigate the evolving landscape of 3D printing and make the most out of its potential.

Original source


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