Re: Additive Manufacturing Industry
in response toby
Thank you for posting here again.
You have asked quite extensive questions about the AM market in general. We are experts in our own market of course, and even there we are learning as we go. As you might expect we are not experts in every aspect of AM, however let me try and answer/guide you as best as I can within those limitations.
1. How far along is the aviation industry’s adoption of 3d printing? I know there are a handful of parts that have been certified and are currently in the air (most recently airframe brackets I believe), but the real Pandora’s Box in my mind are the critical engine parts and other components. Are companies still aggressively reimagining and redesigning engines to utilize 3d printing, and have they had success getting parts through the certification gauntlet?
Following is one example of how the industry is working together to find a solution to the aviation challenge (https://www.oerlikon.com/en/media/press-releases-detail/137322/).
2. Are any other industries rapidly adopting and driving growth in the 3d printing sector (auto makers, for instance)?
The medical industry is quickly adopting 3D printing, but so is the automotive, and space industries. 3D printing is especially useful for producing complex parts, reducing waste of expensive material, and/or for prototyping. Those industries that use expensive materials (such as Ti64) will be more inclined to adopt 3D printing. The automotive industry uses less expensive materials such as Stainless Steel alloys and as such, once the equipment (the printer) become less expensive the adoption rate in that industry will increase. There are some examples of automotive players using 3D printing but again, the material they are using is expensive, the part is complex, and the cars that are using it are even more expensive (https://www.bugatti.com/media/news/2018/world-premiere-brake-caliper-from-3-d-printer/).
3. What is the latest with the penetration of binder jet technology (Desktop Metals, Markforged, etc.)? Six months ago, I felt like every other headline was about this new method, but I haven’t seen as much about it since.
Binder Jet is still gaining in popularity and even GE Additive has added this type of printer to its portfolio (https://3dprint.com/196881/ge-additive-binder-jetting/).
4. Is the market for powder-bed additive manufactured products and applications continuing to grow?
The large majority of the printers use powder (laser, EBM, binder jet). Many companies are trying to invent a better mouse trap and the majority of them require powder as their feedstock which is great for PyroGenesis as we don’t have to bet on a winning horse to stay relevant in this industry.
5. Open mic. Any interesting developments that you’re witnessing that you’d be interested in sharing.
This answer would require an explanation that would be too extensive for this forum (plus I wouldn’t want others to get a sense of what is exciting us). Suffice it to say that AM is progressing at such a rate that it proves challenging to not only keep up with, but also to choose what to target, and I am very excited about the team we have assembled and the product we are delivering to this market.
As always, I appreciate the time you take to share your questions here. I was delayed in responding as I took some time with the family and am returning to the office Thursday.
All the best,
Pyrogenesis Canada Inc.