"It was a love at first
sight," recalls Alejandro Lozdziejski. That is how he felt when he saw a 3D
printer working for the first time, at an Arduino device trade fair in Italy.
That fascination led him, went he came back to Uruguay, his home country, to
form a community of people interested in this technology with a common goal:
"to accelerate the growth of 3D printing in South America." With this
mission, Lozdziejski launched his first venture in 2013: Sur3D, a company
engaged in the integrated manufacture of 3D printers. He dreamed of
"creating the most accessible model in the whole continent and taking it
to local schools and workplaces."
However, entrepreneurial success does not usually come the first time around. Poor unit sales forced him think of a longer-term, more sustainable and profitable business model. He decided to work on some new software that would allow people to be the designers and creators of their own items by themselves, without any technical knowledge. The ability to reinvent his idea and transform it into a success has led to Lozdziejski’s selection as one of the winners of the Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2017 by the MIT Technology Review, Spanish edition.
From its inception until the present day, Sur3D has undergone a 180-degree turn. It has evolved from a hardware to a software product that democratizes the manufacturing process. Its creator explains: "We have created a new paradigm in the relationship between the customer and the product. Now the customer is the protagonist, they have shifted from consumer to creator." The Selva 3D technology is innovative as it makes the printing of a 3D-model from an image possible without any previous experience. The user can preview their own design and generate a file that can also be used on any 3D printing device. Lozdziejski notes: "One gets a high sense of value from having a unique object and with Sur3D we have made this possible".
One of the main challenges for Sur3D has been in strengthening the connection between the customer and the final product. Lozdziejski recognizes that "many mass-produced items aren’t bought by anyone and have to be thrown away". For this reason, the young Uruguayan is very clear about his next steps: "We want to push the industry towards customized manufacturing, not only because this means more attractive products but also because we want to opt for more responsible and intelligent manufacturing, which solves problems such as logistics and waste. "
At the beginning of 2016, Sur3D made the big leap into the European market with Selva 3D. The product caught the attention of one of the largest candy manufacturers in the world: The Magic Candy Factory. The customization software is already being used in more than 100 stores with children and adults participating in the process of creating and printing personalized candies. For this young Uruguayan it is also a global innovation, because "is the first software that allows food to be designed in only seconds," he says.
To date, Selva 3D has more than 100,000 registered users and is operating in markets such as the United States, India and United Kingdom. For expert, investor in Latin America and Innovators under 35 Latinamerica 2017 jury member, Diego Serebrisky, "Sur3D makes an in-demand, but relatively inaccessible, technology available." According to the expert, the potential to transform the traditional relationship between customers and businesses "could be applicable to businesses focused on both business-to-business and on direct customers."