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3D Manufacturing Activity is Stepping Up

 

Additive manufacturing is gaining traction, from government research centers to acquisitions intended to fuel future growth. Investors are bidding up shares in related companies.


From Sweden to Texas, and points in-between, 3D manufacturing is garnering increased interest from those seeking to profit from its future, if not its present.

January, 2014 saw the government of the United Kingdom announcing its support of a national center for 3D printing, “in a bid to put the UK at the forefront of the fledgling industry.”, according to The Independent (1/16). A total of £30 Million (half from government, half from industry) will fund the center’s activities in 3D manufacturing. The center will develop new products for aircraft engines and landing gear. The Belfast Telegraph (1/16) reported that the U. K.’s Chancellor, George Osborne, made the announcement, helping bolster Britain’s position as an aerospace leader.
EBM Beam Machine
In related news, AMD (1/27) reports that RTI is acquiring Directed Manufacturing for $23 million in cash. Directed Manufacturing currently manufactures aerospace products that include airfoils, rakes, guide vanes and injection nozzles and complex fasteners as a major part of its business. “The acquisition builds on more than two years of RTI research, development, and other participation in the field of additive manufacturing as part of its strategic plan. These activities include collaboration with a major commercial aerospace OEM on prototype powder metal parts for advanced design aircraft,” according to the article.

Even Pratt & Whitney is reported to be streamlining its design and manufacturing, partly to accommodate future 3D manufacturing, according to SAE’s Aerospace Engineering Magazine (1/15, Costlow.)

Finally, from one of the leaders in the business, Reuters (1/23, Hellstrom) reports that Arcam is growing rapidly, in part due to orders from GE Aviation , Boeing, Airbus and GKN Aerospace. Share price in Arcam rose 530% in 2013.

The article notes why: “3D printing is still in its infancy on most factory floors and in some industries where bulk production is required it may never be fully adopted… but it could have a huge economic impact by 2025, explaining why investors are so keen on the sector.”

More advice on investing is provided in Engineering.com (1/6, Maxey)


Published Date : 2/3/2014

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