Metal Additive Manufacturing

For many, metal additive manufacturing is not just the fastest growing area of industrial 3D printing – it is industrial 3D printing. The segment is booming, it has been booming for nearly a decade and is likely to continue to grow very rapidly for foreseeable future.

Any recently recorded slow-down in adoption only concerns specific technologies. For example, laser PBF experienced a phase of extreme growth and then a relatively slower period as other processes such as laser (and other types of) DED enjoyed more widespread adoption.

Now the metal AM market is entering the next phase of its growth, driven by process optimization, automation, and industrialization of PBF and DED. Metal PBF technologies are larger and faster than ever, with metal binder jetting now aggressively entering the market led by Desktop Metal (ExOne) and now HP’s Metal Jet, with more on the way (from Markforged/Digital Metal and GE Additive).

Companies, such as Velo3D, EOS (via AMCM), SLM Solutions, Farsoon and E-Plus introduced the largest metal PBF systems, with build volumes beyond 1 meter on the Z-axis and fast multi-laser (up to 12) capabilities. New startups, like Seurat and Vulcan Forms are presenting new methods to metal PBF 3D print faster, for mass production. And the binder jetting companies target production with a drastic cost reduction to address demand in the consumer and automotive industries.

At the same time, a large number of new technological approaches are populating this market. These include affordable bound metal printing, leveraging filament extrusion processes, and high-res metal printing, leveraging stereolithography-based bound metal AM. Other processes, which implement different types of cold metal consolidation (ultrasonic, kinetic) are also targeting high-speed production of extremely large parts to near net shape, where they square off with increasing adoption of DED systems in the machine tool industry.

  • Freeform emerges from stealth with autonomous printing factories

    Freeform, a cutting-edge metal 3D printing company founded by accomplished leaders and engineers from SpaceX, is emerging from stealth and deploying software-defined, autonomous printing factories around the world. The company’s stated goal is to bring on-demand production to mainstream industries and enable the future of innovation. Freeform’s advanced printing technology…

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  • AML3D sells ARCEMY ‘X- Edition 6700’ to US Department of Defense. WAAM is reportedly critical to rapidly scaling the NAVY's parts supply.

    AML3D sells ARCEMY ‘X- Edition 6700’ to US Department of Defense

    The US Department of Defense has placed an order for AML3D’s large-scale, industrial, ARCEMY ‘X-Edition 6700’ Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) system. WAAM, as a means to produce on-demand industrial-grade parts, is critical to rapidly scaling the parts supply to the US Navy’s submarine industrial base. The ARCEMY order was…

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  • Holo appoints David Benhaim to Board of Directors. The Markforged co-founder also advises other early-stage deep technology companies.

    Holo appoints David Benhaim to Board of Directors

    Holo, a Silicon Valley-based metal additive manufacturing company, has appointed David Benhaim, a successful entrepreneur with high-profile leadership experience in the AM industry, to its Board of Directors. “We’re very excited to have David join our board as we enter this growth phase for Holo,” said Hal Zarem, CEO of…

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  • 3DEO launches 316 stainless steel for high volume metal AM

    Los Angeles-based 3DEO, a design, engineering and manufacturing firm, recognized as the world’s highest volume metal 3D printing service (as per data collected in 3dpbm’s Metal AM report) introduced 316L austenitic stainless steel for its proprietary binder jetting-based metal 3D printing process. The new material is available to customers across…

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  • IMI Critical and Velo3D prove distributed manufacturing by printing the same certified part in six locations and three different countries.

    Velo3D proves distributed manufacturing on a global scale

    While conventional manufacturing technology has delivered in-country products on a global basis for decades – it has often involved dedicated, high-cost production assets and personnel that lack flexibility. Supply chain issues with procurement, as well as production lag times inherent to technologies like casting, can further add to costs and…

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  • rms Company acquires 3D Systems' DMP Flex 350 Dual. Adding to the company's portfolio of more than 30 DMP 3D printers.

    rms Company acquires 3D Systems’ DMP Flex 350 Dual

    rms Company, one of the largest contract manufacturers of high-quality, tight-tolerance medical devices, has added 3D Systems’ DMP Flex 350 Dual to its production workflow. rms has more than 30 3D Systems’ DMP 3D printers in its additive manufacturing facility – enabling the company to provide a complete ‘Powder to…

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  • Babcock manufactures first 3D printed metal parts for British Army, to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence

    Babcock manufactures first 3D printed metal parts for British Army

    International defense company, Babcock, has manufactured and fitted what are believed to be the first 3D printed metal parts to be used across the British Army’s active armored fleets. The steel components were created specifically to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence, and were fitted onto in-service fleets,…

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  • University of Virginia researchers detect AM defects in real-time. With a 100% prediction rate using machine learning.

    University of Virginia researchers detect AM defects in real-time

    According to the University of Virginia, a research team led by Tao Sun, associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Virginia, has made new discoveries that have the potential to expand additive manufacturing in aerospace and other industries that rely on strong metal parts. The peer-reviewed…

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  • Robb Hudson appointed as CEO and President of MELD PrintWorks Corporation - MELD Manufacturing Corporation's new AM spin-out.

    MELD Manufacturing spins off metal AM service company

    As some metal 3D printing service providers struggle to offer consistently price-competitive value-added services, other companies are moving to fill the space. Among these, hardware manufacturers are ideally poised to provide AM services as they don’t have an urgent need to ensure returns on the initial CapEx (buy producing the…

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  • Skoltech researchers 3D print bronze-steel alloy that has the potential to be used for combustion chambers for aircraft and rocket engines.

    Skoltech researchers 3D print promising bronze-steel alloy

    According to an article published by Skoltech, in Russia, researchers at the university have used a 3D printer to fabricate samples of bronze-steel alloys – previously unknown to materials science – and investigated the alloys’ mechanical characteristics. Blending the distinct properties of bronze and steel, the novel alloys could be…

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