Zenith Tecnica, a New Zealand-based titanium additive manufacturing company, has had quite the journey since its founding in 2014, becoming one of the country’s leading forces in the metal AM sector. Today, Zenith Tecnica continues to scale its business and expand its 3D printing capabilities with the installation of its fourth and fifth GE Additive Arcam EBM machines.
In five years, the New Zealand company has ramped up its production capabilities significantly, as it now operates five GE electron beam melting systems: two Q20plus printers and three Q10plus machines (two of which are the newly installed systems). According to Zenith Tecnica CEO Matt Wielenga, the acquisition of the two new printers makes the company one of the largest EBM services in business.
“That makes five Arcam EBM machines in five years,” he said. “We now have three Q10plus and two Q20plus systems and we believe that currently makes us one of the largest EBM service bureaus in the world.”
GE Additive’s EBM technology relies on a high-power electron beam that is capable of melting layers of metal powder with high accuracy and productivity. The process enables the creation of parts with no residual stress and with excellent material properties, making it suitable for even the most demanding industries. The Q10plus machine is specifically built for manufacturing orthopedic implants in a cost effective way, thanks to its optimal stacking and powder handling features.
At Zenith Tecnica, the metal additive manufacturing technology is used to produce parts in a number of industries, including the aerospace, defense and medical sectors. Recently, for instance, the company partnered with Air New Zealand with the goal of 3D printing titanium aircraft parts and tools.
With its two additional Q10plus 3D printers, Zenith Tecnica says it will fulfil a number of newly signed contracts with a leading medical implant manufacturing in the United States, among others. To date, the company has received ISO 13485 and AS9100 certifications and has completed IQ, OQ and PQ for the production of medical implants on its existing Q10plus 3D printer.
“We have additively manufacturing over 400 components that are now in orbit,” said Wielenga. “So we’re used to working with highly regulated industries, such as aerospace and defense and the medical sector. Where we add even more value is through our very deep expertise to get the most out of EBM technology, design for additive—whether it is determining what geometry is possible, how to get the best finish, what tolerances are achievable, or simply how to reduce cost.”
The expanded metal 3D printing capacity also means that Zenith Tecnica is ready to take on additional partners and work with new businesses, both in the Pacific region and further abroad.
Karl Lindblom, General Manager of GE Additive Arcam EBM, added: “It’s great to see Zenith Tecnica’s business thrive. And although we’re on the other side of the world in Sweden, we’re constantly in awe at their passion and advocacy for EBM technology, and their ingenuity in developing game-changing applications in titanium.”