The market for metal 3D printing industrial applications has probably been one of the fastest growing areas of the industry this year, or at least the one with the most heat. As the end of year sales numbers start to roll in it is pretty evident that the developers and resellers of metal 3D printing technology have a lot to be thankful for. As a reseller of some of the most advanced additive manufacturing technology around, Efesto focuses their business on large, very large and mega-sized metal 3D printers, including Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology using wire-fed or powder-fed processes.
Michigan-based Efesto primarily distributes large-scale metal 3D printing technology like those developed by one of their high-profile partners, Sciaky Inc. They are also developing their own applications, and working to open high-end metal 3D printing service bureaus throughout the world, focusing on strategic markets that remain under-served. The company is reporting today that at the end of the last quarter they closed a record number of metal 3D printer sales, including the highest priced state of the art metal 3D printer ever sold in the 3D printing industry.
“Efesto made this assessment based on its intimate knowledge of the industry and 3D printer selling prices across all segments. Efesto did not set out to break any sales or price records. It simply focused on providing its customers with the best solution that met their requirements with a justified business case. These projects validate Efesto’s vision and conviction that there is a huge market demand for very large-scale metal 3D printing, and seeing that it has several similar and larger metal 3D printer platforms in its pipeline, this demand is clearly growing,” said Ashok Varma, CEO and Chairman of Efesto LLC.
Oil and gas production, forging, power, tooling and mold making, construction, the maritime industry and the defense industry are all areas that Efesto believes have the most to gain from metal 3D printing. According to Varma, not every application is suitable for their target industries, however when they match a customer with the correct metal 3D printing application the return on investment will often be within one to two years. Efesto focuses on educating clients on previously impossible applications and encourages those in need of high value and low volume manufacturing, one off manufacturing, hybrid-fabrication, free-form fabrication, large-scale fully-solid metal parts or repairing expensive or hard to replace parts to consider their technology.
“Efesto has now raised the bar quite high in the industry, and expects to raise the bar even higher. It plans to deliver larger and higher value added systems in the future. Some of the parts customers want to fabricate have conventional costs exceeding $1 million with lead times longer than 18 months. Many desired parts actually cannot be made conventionally. Efesto strives to achieve meaningful reduction in lead time and allowing ‘build on demand’ capability for optimized parts at similar or lower total-build-cycle-costs. Efesto is addressing certain applications at serious users where even a $10 million printer will be a bargain,” Varma continued.
If the success of Efesto this year is any indication, and I believe it will be, many of the industries fellow metal 3D printing manufacturers and resellers will be experiencing similar success. It is likely that in addition to large industry purchasing their own metal 3D printers we will start seeing more service bureau’s offering large-scale metal part production, which will open up metal 3D printing to businesses that previously were unable to afford the technology. Discuss this story in the Efesto forum thread on 3DPB.com.