New Zealand-based private company Zenith Tecnica recently announced their imminent plans to acquire the company’s 3rd and 4th Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM) printers.
Trent Mainwaring, Senior Design Engineer at Zenith Technica spoke recently at Materialise’s Melbourne 3D Printing Conference in RMIT University’s innovation AM hub, Building 55, revealing the company’s bold expansion plans. Founded in January 2014, the Auckland-based company currently operates both the small-sized Q10 and the larger-sized Q20 Arcam systems, making it one of the largest commercial (if not only) EBM AM facilities in the southern hemisphere. Other large-scale EBM users including GE’s Avio Aero and Italian implant manufacturer Lima Orthopaedics.
Staffed and founded by a team of skilled engineers, the company’s website boasts complete design, testing and validation, production and post-processing services. With a sole focus on providing EBM printing services, Zenith Tecnica seems well-positioned to become a leading player in AM metal service bureau scene, albeit specifically for EBM printed parts.
Arcam’s patented EBM process allows for elevated build platform and chamber temperatures, eliminating the need for post-printing heat treatment stress relieving. The system’s high vacuum chamber reduces chemical impurities and produces higher part repeatability and accuracy over multiple build cycles, making the Arcam printers reliable production machines. However, these systems are not without their shortcomings, one of which being the high price tag, with the smallest system the Q10 starting at close to $1 million USD, making the Arcam range one of the most expensive metal 3D printers in the world.
With that said, Zenith Tecnica’s commitment to such a huge capital expense must be backed by a proven business model solidifying the requirement for further investment. I look forward to seeing this company grow and will be following these Kiwi’s closely.