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Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the use of AM across various manufacturing fields, it should be noted that beyond these industries, there are financial markets that are often vitally linked to economic performance. This new issue of 3D ADEPT Mag falls under a context where there is a steady wind of acquisitions, SPACs and IPOs that is increasingly embracing all sectors across the additive manufacturing value chain. As we ask ourselves if it is just a passing trend or if there is any real interest for additive manufacturing companies, one thing is certain, no matter what reasons led to these paths, they will lead to significant growth across all AM technologies.
This new issue of 3D ADEPT Mag comes to provide an attempt to understand the world of stock markets that additive manufacturing companies are entering. It also discusses a first set of key segments that will impact the market in a short-run, assesses the latest manufacturing processes that may raise industrials’ interests and provides key insights to help companies determine where they are in their AM journey.
DOSSIER: Laser Powder-Bed Fusion or Material Jetting, what technology best suits the production of custom mould inserts?
Although operators no longer question the ability of Additive Manufacturing technologies to produce a much-more cost-effective result than conventional tooling and die making, they are still cross-examining what AM technology best suits the production of prototype mould inserts.
The rise of 3D printing has had impacts not solely on the production of end-used parts as a direct manufacturing technology, but also as an indirect manufacturing technology. For example, Additive Manufacturing is sometimes used to create moulds for the purpose of urethane or silicone casting. In other circumstances, it is used to create tools such as jigs or fixtures that enhance the performance of machining cells. This ability to create custom tools for traditional manufacturing processes also extends into the realm of injection moulding, where 3D printing technology is used to create custom injection mold inserts. But when it comes to creating a custom mould insert, which technology is best? We spoke with a couple of digital manufacturing experts to learn more about two of the most popular 3D printing technologies used for this application, material jetting and laser powder bed fusion.
Main contributions: 3Diligent – Zare
BUSINESS: SPACs and IPOs: are they a passing trend or is there a genuine interest for additive manufacturing companies?
An attempt to understand the world of stock markets that additive manufacturing companies are entering.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the use of AM across various manufacturing fields, it should be noted that beyond these industries, there are financial markets that are often vitally linked to economic performance. Indeed, the influence of financial development on economic growth is one of the most challenging research questions that macroeconomists and financial economists had and still have to discuss. Yet the reality of our industry reveals that the number of AM companies going public via mergers with Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) rather than conventional Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) is increasingly growing.
- How do SPACs work?
- Why do AM companies prefer SPACs mergers over IPOs?
- And the call to remain cautious…
With contributions from AM Ventures, PwC and Ivana Naumovska, lecturer at INSEAD.
Interview of Month: How & Why Does Desktop Metal Build a Portfolio of “AM 2.0” Print Platforms?
The Desktop Metal journey is highlighted by big ambitions: a solid materials strategy, key process performance targets and an intriguing plan to become more than just a general service bureau.
In 2020, Desktop Metal (DM) announced its intent to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with Trine Acquisition Corp and global credit investment firm HPS Investment Partners, and confirmed it just before we bid goodbye to that extraordinary year. Nobody would have thought then that this single action from the Additive Manufacturing unicorn would lead to a wave of SPAC-IPO transactions in the industry. Yet, since this IPO, Desktop Metal’s journey has evolved in terms of structural organization, manufacturing processes & applications, and overall vision. For this Interview of the Month, 3D ADEPT Media caught up with Arjun Aggarwal, Chief Product Officer, to discuss the journey of the “Pure-Play Additive Manufacturing 2.0 Company”.
Software: Software Automation In Additive Manufacturing: Where Are You?
When early users of Additive Manufacturing technologies started leveraging these technologies, the most important aspect, if not the only one, was to determine if those technologies could effectively achieve rapid prototyping. As users’ needs have evolved towards series production or even mass production, technologies’ capabilities also need to be adapted. Automation comes into play and becomes a pivotal goal to reach, to truly enable series production of 3D printed parts, but the route towards true automated additive manufacturing production is often strewn with pitfalls.
Despite its crucial role in manufacturing, software automation in additive manufacturing is often the part that is least understood by users of additive manufacturing, which is why we’ve decided to explore it in this exclusive feature.
With contributions from Oqton & ETH Zurich.
Post-processing: A glimpse of the use of furnaces in Additive Manufacturing
Whether it is for homes or for industrial settings, a furnace remains a device that produces heat. In industrial environments, those devices were first used in metallurgy to heat and melt metal or to remove gangue, primarily in iron and steel production. Over time, the use of furnaces has expanded so much that it requires a dedicated trade press to speak about all its ins-and-outs. However, it turns out that when it comes to additive manufacturing, the use of furnaces remains quite limited, yet of paramount importance to achieve the desired finished 3D printed part.
With contributions from TAV VACUUM FURNACES SPA, SECO/WARWICK S.A. – Desktop Metal – Nabertherm – General Kinematics.
Start-Up Area: Time-saving in product development: why Mantle’s Hybrid Metal 3D printing is an interesting bet.
In an industry where one of the major issues consists in reducing “product-time-to-market” cycles, additive manufacturing is often directly categorised as a technology that enables faster production compared to conventional manufacturing processes. Yet, for certain applications such as mould tooling – which is pivotal for the development of many products -, certain AM processes are not only costly, but are as long as conventional machining, not to mention that they will still require the operator to perform some machining before obtaining the final 3D printed part.
Interestingly, another alternative recently came onto the market, an alternative that would provide a more interesting bet in terms of tool lead times and product-time-to-market; an alternative that is based on metal pastes.
A story of Mantle.
During summer, it is hard to always stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry. If you have had some time off during the months of July and August, then don’t worry. We’ve got your back. This news-round provides a summary of the announcements you shouldn’t have missed this summer.