3D Metalforge targets marine growth initiatives in accelerated expansion

3D printing service provider 3D Metalforge has revealed that it’s actively seeking to address new industries after its revenue declined 20% during H1 2021. 

The company’s financials show that in the six months up to June 30, 2021, it generated just A$645,000, A$161,000 less than the A$806,000 it reported during the COVID-hit H1 2020. Despite this, the firm has also reported “encouraging traction” at its expanded U.S facilities, as well as in the marine, oil and gas sectors, thus it now has an order backlog of A$1 million, and projects a “positive outlook” for H2 2021. 

3D Metalforge has bankrolled its recent expansion using the A$10 million raised via its IPO in March 2021, which saw it go public on the Australian Securities Exchange. Since its IPO, the firm’s shares had dipped from A$0.28 to a low of A$0.11, although its results and growth forecast have seen them recover, albeit slightly, to A$0.15. 

“Funds from the IPO have been directed towards revenue-growth initiatives, including increasing our production capacity in Singapore, and leading our international expansion,” explained Matthew Waterhouse, MD of 3D Metalforge. “Our overseas expansion is a big growth opportunity, and we decided to build a presence in Houston to be closer to key decision makers, and at the center of the oil and gas industry.”

“I’m pleased that we are receiving encouraging initial interest from our new Houston flagship centre, with site visits from potential end users.”

3D Metalforge's new flagship 3D printing facility in Houston, Texas.
3D Metalforge’s new flagship 3D printing facility in Houston, Texas. Photo via Small Caps.

3D Metalforge’s H1 2021 results

Based in Singapore, 3D Metalforge generates revenue from its 3D printing, post-processing, design consultancy and related training services. So far, the firm’s SLM, DED, MJF and FFF portfolio has allowed it to attract clients from the energy, maritime and defense sectors, and even though it reported just A$645,000 in H1, it now aims to gain a larger share of what it sees as a A$4.5 billion on-demand parts industry. 

In an attempt to achieve this, the company has shelled-out on new facilities in the U.S. and Australia, which have recently achieved their first parts and sales respectively, as well as hiring new team members and strengthening its board. 

Although 3D Metalforge hasn’t revealed exactly how much revenue its expanded facilities have generated, it says that it’s now seeing “growing interest” from its target markets. In fact, widening its sales pipeline has reportedly allowed it to carry out a number of field tests with both new and potential customers, which are “progressing well” and could yield income in the near future.

With regards to the company’s cash flow, its expansion has also seen it spend big on listing costs, facility openings and new hires, but it says that it “remains cognisant of its cash burn,” and “within use of the funds it budgeted,” thus it anticipates seeing the gap between its income and outgoings narrow in future as its “investments in growth pay off.” 

An aerial view of a Singapore shipping yard.
3D Metalforge has continually targeted marine 3D printing applications in Singapore. Photo via Maritime Executive.

Advances in marine, oil and gas

In order to better address the lucrative U.S. oil and gas sector, 3D Metalforge opened a 20,000 sq. ft complex in Houston, Texas, during H1 2021. Designed to act as its new flagship facility, the factory has already been fitted with 3D printing and post-processing equipment, and is expected to enter production by September 2021. 

Ahead of the facility’s opening, the company is now conducting site visits with customers, as a means of identifying potential sales opportunities, and it anticipates garnering significant interest from within the Australian and New Zealand markets, especially those operating in the energy, maritime, tooling and defense sectors. 

In terms of other revenue-generating deals, 3D Metalforge also became a ‘Qualified Manufacturing Partner’ of pump and valve manufacturer Flowserve in the first half of the year. As a result, the company is now able to supply pump impellers and stainless steel to a client with a $5.5 billion U.S. market capitalization and strong APAC user base, providing it with the chance to expedite its expansion there. 

More recently, in August 2021, 3D Metalforge opened what it describes as the “world’s first AM port facility” as well. Housing the firm’s new Hybrid Wire Arc print (W-HAAM) 3D printer, the complex has now entered a production phase in which it’s expected to build A$387,000 worth of parts, and provide 3D Metalforge with further maritime, defense and industrial manufacturing opportunities moving forwards. 

“The commissioning of the world’s first AM facility for ports, validates our differentiated business model, building more sustainable and robust supply chains for clients directly in their facilities, and allowing for on-demand and customized 3D metal parts,” added Waterhouse. “This is a great validation of our technology, and for our ‘shop in a shop’ solution to be replicated anywhere in the world.”

Matthew Waterhouse (centre) at the opening of 3D Metalforge's $1.8 million facility in Singapore. Photo via 3D Metalforge.
Matthew Waterhouse (center) at the opening of 3D Metalforge’s $1.8 million facility in Singapore. Photo via 3D Metalforge.

A “solid foundation” for H2 2021?

While 3D Metalforge hasn’t provided guidance for the remainder of the financial year, it has described H1 2021 as a period in which it has “strengthened its fundamentals.” As of June 30, 2021, the firm also had a cash balance of A$6.1 million, thus it has ample funding to continue its ongoing expansion, and it has committed to identifying organic and inorganic growth opportunities in the near future. 

According to Waterhouse though, 3D printing’s inherent sustainability will be key to attracting those traditional manufacturers seeking to convert to eco-friendly technologies, and he views this as vital in differentiating 3D Metalforge’s offering from those of its competitors. 

“Prospective clients are particularly interested in the ESG benefits of AM, including its considerably lower CO2 emissions, and we’re confident that our services proposition will be a differentiator towards clients’ transition to greener manufacturing,” concluded Waterhouse. “We’ve entered the second half of the year with discussions underway, and we remain well-positioned to add continued value to our clients.” 

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Featured image shows 3D Metalforge’s print farm of 21 Ultimaker 3D printers, located in Singapore. Photo via Ultimaker.