(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of articles profiling some of the companies involved in the 2014 “GIGTANK” hosted by Chattanooga’s “CO.LAB.” All of the companies make their pitches on July 29 at “Demo Day.” To register, click.)
By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
Nohtal Partansky was working on his Master’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology and trying to raise funds for Lathon Technologies when he heard about the “GIGTANK” in Chattanooga.
“When I applied, our Kickstarter campaign was still going on,” he told us in a recent interview. “When I realized we were not going to get funded, I accepted the invitation.”
Partansky is part of this year’s 3D printing/additive manufacturing track, a first-of-it-kind accelerator in the country. He has finished and delivered eight beta versions of a novel, affordable desktop printer designed specifically for architects and professional artists.
“It’s a dual extrusion system,” Partansky says. “We have the ability to print in eight different materials.”
Partansky gave an in-depth explanation of the printer during an interview with CircleChattanooga.
In addition to providing a high performance, affordable printer, Partansky says they are equipping their devices with self-diagnostic capabilities. Their plan includes a strong customer service component including the ability to have a video conversation with a technician if something goes wrong.
Partansky graduated from the University of California at Davis with degrees in aerospace sciences and mechanical engineering. It was during a six-month internship at XCOR Aerospace that he got “hooked” on 3D printing.
“I had some extra cash and decided to invest it in buying a very expensive kit for a printer,” he explained. That purchase produced a daily pattern – designing something to print on the printer in the morning, actually print the device in the afternoon, and have a product that could be used by nightfall.
“I decided there had to be an easier way to do it,” Partansky said. That led to the formation of Lathon Technologies.
He launched the Kickstarter campaign earlier this year with a goal of $80,000. Nearly 100 people pledged almost $53,000 to help advance the company.
Through the “GIGTANK,” Partansky says he’s making good progress. That includes working with an industry partner and launching a new website.
“It’s been great,” he says of the accelerator program and the individuals with whom he has interacted. “They know the industry very well.”
So, what happens after the upcoming “Demo Day”?
“If we get funding, I take a leave (from Georgia Tech) and continue to develop the company,” Partansky says. If not, we suspect he’ll continue to develop the company on a part-time basis while pursuing his Master’s degree.