The Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) has reported net earnings of $16 million on $1.5 billion revenue for the full year 2016. The results mark a return to profit for the first time since filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in 2012.
3D printing at Eastman Kodak and specifically, the development of new 3D printing materials, are highlighted in a statement released by the company.
3D printing materials development
As 3D Printing Industry reported last year, Kodak partnered with Carbon in a joint development agreement to create new 3D printing materials. At the time of the announcement Kodak CEO, Jeff Clarke said, “Carbon and Kodak are well positioned to develop and expand market opportunities for CLIP-based additive manufacturing.”
3D printing activity at Kodak is conducted by the company’s Intellectual Property Solutions Division (IPSD). For 2016 IPSD had operational EBITDA of negative $14 million, this was an improvement of $8 million from negative $22 million for 2015.
Kodak explains that, “This improvement is the result of the re-prioritization of the company’s research programs. The division expanded its efforts in developing new materials for 3D printing and light-blocking materials in 2016 and will continue in 2017.”
Micro 3D Printing progression
Kodak has also reported progression in Micro 3D Printing. According to the CEO Jeff Clarke the business unit has, “progressed favorably with several customer technical evaluations, including positive results on environmental reliability testing from both a tier-one global display integrator and a global brand customer.”
Last year Kodak announced it had halted development of the early stage silver mesh functional 3D printing venture and would focus on copper mesh technologies. A Kodak spokesperson explains, “copper mesh technology for large-size touch screens .. will give the company a broad offering in the rapidly growing touch screen market.”
On a call with analysts and investors Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said,
We believe that there is a modest investment stream going forward with a large payoff. Effectively the company over the last really seven-eight years has invested by $50 million in this technology. And we think with single digit millions, where we are at the product line it makes sense to continue that loss given the prospects of the technology and the pipeline we now have.
Kodak’s president of enterprise inkjet systems division and Micro 3D printing and packaging division Philip Cullimore adds,
Functional 3D printing, including touch screen sensors, is an important element of Kodak’s portfolio, and Kodak will continue to develop leading-edge technology in this segment. After advancing both silver and copper metal mesh technologies we have decided to focus on copper.
Unfortunately in this weeks announcement Kodak made no mention of an earlier venture into 3D printing.
Featured image from announcement of Carbon and Kodak 3D printing partnership. Image via Kodak.