Los Angeles-based metal 3D printed part provider 3DEO, has officially shipped 150,000 production parts for end-use applications.
The milestone is an important one for the on-demand additive manufacturer, which has had to compete in high-volume metal manufacturing markets against conventional manufacturing techniques such as CNC machining and metal injection molding.
“150 thousand parts is a terrific milestone for 3DEO. It validates our patented technology, our unique business model, and our mission to break metal additive manufacturing (AM) into high-volume production. Today, we routinely win bids against traditional manufacturing because of our competitive cost structure and material performance,” said Matt Sand, 3DEO President.
Continued expansion at 3DEO
Established in 2016, 3DEO is an on-demand manufacturer of steel components. Using its Intelligent Layering technology, the company claims to be able to produce parts in high volumes, while reducing costs and meeting industry standards for Metal Injection Molding. Moreover, the technology is reportedly able to produce metal components with excellent surface quality, low cost structure and fine features, for customers in the medical, defense and aerospace markets.
Rather than manufacturing and distributing its 3D printers, the company has built a business model based on an automated end-to-end industrial platform. This approach has proved popular with 3DEO’s customers, with the on-demand manufacturer producing 30,000 parts in 2018, and doubling its production capacity in the first quarter of 2019. 3DEO also made plans to bring in a further 12 Intelligent Layering Technology machines, after securing two more production customers, comprising 24,000 pieces and 28,000 pieces each.
In May 2019, 3DEO announced that it had continued to grow, and achieved a triple digit annual growth in its business metrics for 2019. The company attributed this growth to its vertically integrated, “solutions oriented” business model, and ability to help customers tackle their manufacturing problems, without needing to invest in supporting infrastructure. Having accelerated production from the 30,000 parts produced in 2018, to a grand total of 150,000 in 2020, 3DEO is now targeting the manufacture of millions of parts by 2021.
What does the milestone mean for AM?
3D printing has been successfully utilized in prototype production and low-to-medium scale high-value manufacturing in recent years, but high-volume production remains the ultimate goal for additive manufacturers. According to 3DEO’s CEO Matt Petro, passing the 150,000 part milestone is evidence that the part provider is penetrating the high-volume market of metal components, and driving the uptake of AM in manufacturing.
“We are especially proud of the fact that every single customer we are working with is implementing metal AM in production for the first time. 3DEO’s unique business model and patented technology are the keys that allow 3DEO to finally break through and win parts orders in high volume production where it was previously impossible,” said Petros.
“150,000 parts shipped is only the beginning for us,” added Sand. “We are scratching the surface of what’s possible with metal AM in the $130 billion U.S. metal parts market. With our additive and automation software and hardware, combined with our world-class R&D team and quality systems, we are primed to scale metal AM into millions of parts next year.”
On demand manufacturing in 3D printing
The success of 3DEO’s business model has been replicated by other on-demand AM companies, due to the ease of access, and precision components that it provides.
U.S. based on-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry commenced its European expansion with the acquisition of Shift in December 2019. In the official press release, the company was deemed the “largest on demand manufacturing marketplace in Europe.”
The same month, on-demand manufacturing platform 3D Hubs announced that it was opening new offices in Paris, backed by investment firm Future Shape. The investors credited the service with being able to “turn ideas into objects in only a few days.”
In August 2019, California-headquartered advanced prototyping and manufacturing service provider FATHOM received a patent for the technology behind its online quoting platform. The patent covered the company’s system, and methods used to provide price quotes on ISO-certified 3D printed components.
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Featured image shows the 3DEO team celebrating after achieving ISO 9001 certification. Image via 3DEO.