One other technology that can be considered additive manufacturing is also booming: we are talking about Directed Energy Deposition (Aka laser cladding). It is a type of metal deposition, so it does have some geometrical limitations, however it can deposit very large amounts of materials in a short time, which means that it is fast. Furthermore, it can be integrated into multi-tool robotic systems. Giants such as DMG Mori and Trumpf, whose yearly revenue almost equal those of the entire 3D printing industry combined, are starting to seriously push this metal powder based technology. Then, of course, there are also smaller companies that are making big moves, such as Sciaky. The US company’s unique EBAM technology – which is a type of DED only it melts a metal filament with an electron beam instead of powder with a laser – is already being used in the US aerospace and defense industries for very large size parts.

More Materials

The only question that remains is: who feed this demand its the right materials? We’ll explore that in the coming weeks.