3D printing sounds quite futuristic, but it’s already here. The technology is pretty straightforward: It is a small evolutionary step from spraying toner on paper to putting down layers of something more substantial (such as plastic resin) until the layers add up to an object. By enabling a machine to produce objects of any shape, on the spot, as needed means 3D printing is the beginning of a new era.
The 3D printing technology make it’s was to the technological world in the year 1986, but did not gain importance until 1990. It was not that popular outside the world of engineering, architecture and manufacturing. Arcam, the Swedish maker of 3D printers, is continually growing and expanding itself in this field. The company is best known for its Electron Beam Melting technology, a process by which an electron beam melts and then builds up powdered metal to create metal parts. General Electric and large-scale company Pratt & Whitney are its customers among others. The company is interested in tapping more into the US aerospace and medical industries, two areas where 3D printers capable of producing metal finished products are in increasing demand.
Arcam boasts of a very successful 2015. The Swedish company revealed that net sales increased by 70% and that their operating income increased by 50.2 million SEK (or nearly $6 USD). Arcam is now starting a new 5,500 square foot facility in Woburn, Massachusetts. CEO of Arcam, Magnus Rene will be relocating to Woburn to lead the expansion. “The reason for my relocation is that I will focus more on the US market where options, growth potentials, and strategic opportunities are huge,” say Rene. During the course of the year 2015, the business increased. “We have worked hard and focused. Our primary focus has been to continue executing and developing our long-term strategy to put the EBM technology in industrial production. To do that, we have developed all three parts of the Group, EBM systems metal powders and contract manufacturing. We have grown rapidly and we have made substantial investments in increased capacity to continue to meet our customers demand,” said Rene.
Since being in business Arcam has made quite the clientele such as Turin, Italy based Avio Aero who ordered 10 new EBM systems in the year 2015, GKN who ordered two Q20 3D printer units for aerospace component manufacturing. A new 3D printer production center has also opened its doors in Molndal, Sweden, doubling their production capacity.
The Aerospace industry is a huge and diverse market with EBM applications found in basically all segments, such as commercial and military aircraft, space applications, missiles and various subsystems like engines and accessories. For many years now the EBM technology is used for production of standard as well as custom orthopedic implants. The Arcam EBM technology allows the implants industries to manufacture innovative products and at the same time reduce production costs.
3D printing makes it possible to create things from scratch in just hours. Nowadays many industries uses 3D printing such as automotive, medical, business, industrial equipment, education, architecture and consumer product industries. “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything” said President Barack Obama. Any way you look at it its a win-win situation.