One of the key metal 3D printing vendors is Arcam. How have they been doing lately?
The Sweden-based company has been growing in a manner similar to almost all other industrial 3D printer companies: rapidly. We understand they now have a staff of 244, with another 10 open positions.
Their product line is not extensive; they focus on the niche areas of 3D metal printing for aerospace and medical applications. In fact, last year they signed a partnership agreement with DiSanto, a large contract manufacturing service focused on Orthopedic applications. While Arcam provides the printing expertise, DiSanto provides the medical certification know-how and connections with clients. We understand that Arcam now fully owns DiSanto, so it must have been a successful venture.
The Arcam product line includes three items: the Q10, designed for manufacturing orthopedic implants; the Q20, designed for general purpose aerospace manufacturing and the A2X, designed for specialty aerospace manufacturing. In particular, the A2X is capable of handling high temperatures that enable the use of additional metal materials including titanium aluminide and Inconel.
All of their machines use Electron Beam Melting technology, which employs a very high power (up to 3000W) electron beam that can very rapidly melt areas of powder to form each layer of the print. The printing is performed in a near-vacuum within the build volume.
Many types of metal powders are ready to print with the Arcam line, but we understand they’re currently developing many more, including copper.