41. Bionica Systems

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Founders: James Marchant

Having successfully exited Ion Core Zinter, which raised over $10m and is said to have become the largest manufacturer of desktop 3D printers in the UK, serial entrepreneur James Marchant has turned his attention to the world of computer numerical control (CNC) tools.

Marchant saw a gap in the market for manufacturing and retailing a range of high-quality, professional grade CNC machines, for both freestanding and desktop.

Launched in 2017, Bionica Systems delivers all its own machines and provides on-site customer training, including a complete demonstration of the process.

What are CNC machines, we hear you ask? First developed in the 1940s using punched tape technology, today’s machines now rely on digital instructions from a computer aided manufacturing (CAM) or computer aided design (CAD) software to inform the accurate cutting of stock material into prototype parts.

While CNC machines can’t make the complex shapes produced by 3D printing – which build things from the bottom up – it can deal with a much wider range of materials including various metals, wood, foam, fibreglass and plastics.

Bionica Systems has now sold its products to 119 customers including Renishaw PLC, which Marchant says confirmed to him that “despite being low cost”, his machines “are in the realms of the standards required by this high-tech company”.

Bolstered by the success of its current range, Bionica Systems will now focus on launching a range of laser machines and expanding into the European market.

Unlike his last business, Marchant has grown Bionica Systems without any external investment and already the business is targeting £1.5m in turnover for 2018.  A proven track record and innovative concept make this start-up one to watch in 2018.

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