Canadian additive manufacturing powder producer Equisperes has just received an $8 million investment from early stage and SME financing bank BDC Capital.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and driving at the green-benefits of metal 3D printing, Equishperes is well-positioned within BDC’s ongoing commitment to high-potential Canadian cleantech firms. The investment is also the latest advance in the nation’s growing metal powder manufacturing stronghold, already home to rival materials companies such as GE Additive’s AP&C and PyroGenesis.
Equispheres powder atomization
The secret to Equisphere’s success is a patent-pending method of powder atomization that produces near-perfect spherical metal powders. The uniformity and smoothness of these powders make them the ideal feedstock for additive manufacturing systems, as heterogeneous particles can lead to quality discrepancies in the final part. On the strength of its proprietary technology, Equispheres also previously received a $5 million investment from American global aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin.
Gas plasma atomization is one of the methods used by Equishperes competitors to create powders of such high quality and homogeneity. Another is the Fray, Farthing & Chen process, held by UK metal powder producer Metalysis.
Additive manufacturing in Canadian cleantech
Securing this most recent investment from BDC, Equispheres focuses on the environmental advantages of 3D printing. Namely, how switching to additive manufacturing can cut out the logistics middle man – reducing fuel consumption – and the technology’s “use-as-needed” material economy.
First launched in January 2018, BDC’s cleantech initiative will award $700 million in funding to eligible companies in Canada over the next four years. Susan Rohac, Vice President of Cleantech Practice at BDC, comments, “This investment in Equispheres is part of BDC’s long history of supporting innovative Canadian cleantech firms to scale as world leaders.”
“Equispheres has an aggressive growth vision and is singularly positioned to scale in a rapidly expanding industry due to its novel, unrivalled product, strong management team and technical know-how.”
According to Kevin G. Nicholds, President, CEO and Executive Director of Equispheres, BDC’s $8 million investment will be used to help scale-up production and meet powder supply demands from aerospace and automotive customers. Nicholds concluded:
“We are excited to receive the $8 million investment from BDC’s Cleantech practice.”
Is Equispheres your Material Company of the Year? Make your nominations now for the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards.
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Featured image shows SEM image of spherical metal powders produced by Equispheres. Image via Equispheres