Expect some interesting developments in metal 3D printing after EOS has provided some of their technology to Additive Industries.
Additive Industries is a Netherlands-based company that’s been developing large-scale metal 3D printing systems. Their focus has been to ensure the most optimum workflow is provided by their devices. In fact, they call their system, the MetalFAB1, the “first integrated industrial 3D metal printing system”. By integrated, they mean to include other processes in addition to the 3D printing element, such as cleaning, milling, measurement and more.
That’s why their MetalFAB1 system shown here might seem a bit longish. It has many things inside it.
But what about this agreement? EOS is a long-lived 3D printer manufacturer that specializes in powder-based systems that typically print in nylon – or metal. They own several patents on metal 3D printing processes as a result of their research.
Now they’ve licensed the use of “certain” metal printing patents to Additive Industries, where they will presumably be incorporated into the MetalFAB1 or its successors.
We don’t know precisely which patents are involved, and we also don’t know how much Additive Industries paid to obtain the right to use them.
But we do know this is a very good idea. It’s often the case that patented technology becomes limited when used only by one company. Here we see an opportunity for an industrial process to be leveraged in a different way than its original owner can perform. More companies using more technology can only be good for their users.
Via Additive Industries (PDF)