Sonny Vu 0:00
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming. My name is Sonny from Arevo and our company makes carbon fiber composite products like the super strata bike here, and the Mishima ottoman and lounge chair. But I'm not here to talk about what we make, or even about the materials so much as a movement that really is afoot now that I think it's going to be an important part of how we make things as humans in the years and decades to come, I believe. It's called additive manufacturing, some people call it 3D printing. But whatever you call it, it's what you would expect: cheaper, faster, better. You can make things just in time, no more inventory, keeping things around. Because you're printing things, you don't need molds, it's instant on and you can iterate quickly. And it's better because you can, each print is unique, each piece that you make can be customized to people or to what customers want. And you can make impossible things, things that would otherwise be very difficult to make using traditional methods.
Sonny Vu 1:10
And as we enter a multipolar trading world, perhaps a de-globalized world in some senses, a post pandemic world, or should I say, a COVID endemic world, a place where shipping things around the world just doesn't really make sense anymore. The cost of shipping containers increased almost 6X over the last year and a half. So you know, making things in China and shipping it over the Pacific or over Asia doesn't seem like a good idea anymore. So 3D printing sounds incredible. But not yet. Because the cost of the hardware and the materials are very expensive. The build volume, usually for making these products, are very small, the size of a shoe box, and are smaller in many cases, and the incumbents are just too numerous and too low cost, and they're getting better and better and faster. Making hard tools used to take a couple months. Now, you can do it in a matter of days.
Sonny Vu 2:11
And so suppose you want to make this product, this bracket here. You want to 3D print it, you pick your three letter acronym, and you can make it ranging from very, very expensive to very expensive. And it doesn't really go down in terms of cost over volume. Whereas a traditional method the costs goes down dramatically or goes down very quickly. This is a logarithmic graph, by the way. And so it's very hard to compete against traditional plastic technologies. And suppose you want to make you know, we've heard about metal 3D printing, right? And suppose you want to make this. I don't know why you'd want to print a bucket. But if you wanted to, because, you know, we want to change the way we make things. Well, there's a number of different approaches here, this is not exhaustive by any means. Again, it ranges from very expensive to expensive. Whereas if you just had a metal shaping machine, it would be pennies or dollars at most. And so it's very hard, like I said, to compete against traditional technologies right now. And a lot of it is because, like I said materials cost and machine costs, you know, all those VCs backing these products have to get paid somehow. Right? And so it's tough. And so and like I said, when you compare to what's available to make these products right now, there's a lot of competition, there's a lot of people who can make these things very inexpensively. If you look at the province of Guangdong, there's over 12,000 plastic injection molding factories, that's more than most continents. And so it's a tough place to be.
Sonny Vu 3:53
So 3D printing, you know, we've heard about it for the last several decades, what's going on? it's not been a really great industry. I mean, these are the stock charts for the top 3D printing companies. Many of them have gone public in the recent quarters. But if you look at the other categories, if we were to compare apples to Apple, apples to apples, or in this case, apples to Apple, these are some of the tech companies that have been born in the last several decades. 3D printing has also been around during the same period of time. Why are there no companies over $10 billion or $100 billion 3D printing companies? You’d think that if we're able to transform the way we make things, there should be trillion dollar 3D printing companies by now. But because of the limitations, cost, size, speed, throughput, it's just not been there. So I think, you know, if we're going to be getting to a place where we will transform the way we make things it's gonna be about the business model.
Sonny Vu 4:51
Printing in large centralized farms, rather than everyone having their own printers. But also, back to the materials, it's going to be much more thing, plastic and metal, very tough. But if you were to look at composites, materials that are really light, very strong, in this case, carbon fiber composites, a great place to start because the incumbents, it's very expensive to make these products. The input material is indeed very expensive, though, at least the carbon fiber component of it, but the processing is very complicated. And so. But if we can automate this, if we can move to a place where we are printing these things, and remove the manual labor, if we can do it at centralized facilities like this, where we can have massive throughput. Leveraging software, printing technology, faster deposition, technology, and robotics, and control technology to automate the design and, and lay up some of these products, I think we can do it. We can make incredible products like this. So what's interesting about this bike, I mean, it's a beautiful bike, but the entire thing is, well, it's the frame, and fork, 3D printed on these systems. Same thing with this chair, this structure here, an impossible structure, if you were to make this out of wood. I guess you could probably make it out of metal, it'd be pretty tough, but supports hundreds of kilograms of weight. And so the there's a number of these products that can be made from carbon fiber, you know, we've been talking about lots of other frontier materials, carbon fiber has been around for some time, but it's really going to be how we harness the power of thermoplastic carbon fiber composites, to make things like what you see here, to deliver mass customization to deliver cloud based, truly digitally driven manufacturing where there's lots of transparency, and you can do it in your backyard, or at least, you know, on a regional basis. And so this it's an exciting future, because the future of making things as a species, I think it's going to be less like this, and more like this in the years to come. So I think we're gonna see some exciting developments very soon. Thank you very much!