SUN METALON announced new funding and a new partnership.
The mysterious and quite new Japanese company is developed a unique metal 3D printing process that I have yet to see in any detail.
Our previous story on the company from last October focused on one of their extraordinary claims: the radical idea of creating metal material from rocks for the equipment. I now see a larger description of this feature on their current website, where they explain the concept further:
“Localized Sourcing: Nowadays, iron ore is melted in blast furnaces of large steel mills to produce iron. Imagine a world in which it is possible to create the necessary metal parts using materials available on the spot. SUN METALON has conducted proof-of-concept tests that have led to the successful conversion of 95% of iron ore to iron power. This future technology could assist humankind in its final frontier, where we might be entirely separated from our current supply chain.“
One of the most interesting features of their technology we’ve learned since then is that they will offer a method of heating an entire layer at once, rather than having a laser tediously trace its way around the build surface on each layer. This could dramatically speed up production rates and possibly make metal 3D printing an option for many new applications that have been shut out by extreme pricing.
The news is that despite the mystery, they’ve managed to obtain a notable investment of US$2M from several venture capital firms. That should be sufficient for the firm to continue developing their project, as their total raise thus far is nearing US$10M.
The second bit of news is a partnership with Toyota to verify a new aluminum recycling process, one that will apparently reduce CO2 emissions. They explain:
“Verification experiments have confirmed the new process contributes not only to reduced CO2 emissions but also to improved safety and quality compared to the conventional aluminum recycling processes. TOYOTA has already purchased equipment manufactured by SUN METALON and has begun verification testing of the new process.”
This is obviously good news for SUN METALON, as Toyota is a major player in the automotive industry. Anything you do with them could easily scale up to a large size, and their competitors may also become interested given Toyota’s reputation.
SUN METALON seems to be highly focused on sustainability, more so than other metal 3D printer manufacturers. This may become of much greater importance in the near future.
It is not surprising that the company has been able to attract investment, as it appears their equipment works well enough for Toyota. If it works for them, it will work for others.
Via SUN METALON