Metal 3D printing company Velo3D has just raised $28 million in a Series D funding round, making it a total of $138 million that the firm has raised so far. The D round was lead by Piva. Just recently the firm announced that it now has a 1m tall build volume metal printer with its first customer being found in oil and gas. On the most recent episode of the 3DPod, we delve deeper into that along with the customer and Velo3D team.
Velo3D CEO Benny Buller said:
“Customers in industries such as aerospace, oil & gas, and power generation are now able to achieve part quality for their mission-critical applications with performance levels that weren’t possible before with 3D metal printing.”
In the press release, the company stated that,
“VELO3D plans to use the new capital to expand its product portfolio to include more machine options, compatible alloys, and enhanced software and hardware capabilities. The company anticipates that the injection of fresh capital will help them reach sustainable profitability by mid-2022.”
Ricardo Angel, CEO of Piva stated,
“We have been impressed by Benny, the team and their breakthrough technology that will have a significant impact on the efficient design and manufacturing of more complex components, previously unattainable, with clear commercial traction already in the aerospace and aviation markets. VELO3D will lead a new wave of more resilient, distributed manufacturing capabilities for its most critical components, which the world will need to ensure local product availability and timeliness, while mitigating potential future worldwide disruptions.”
Velo3D has used software, FPGA’s and then hardware to improve DMLS/Powder Bed Fusion success rates and increase the number of geometries that can comfortably be made with little or no supports. We discuss the technology and its capabilities here with Velo3D’s Zach Murphee. The company is a real challenger to GE and EOS as well as other players such as SLM Solutions. This level of funding really supersizes Velo3D’s efforts in penetrating the market. The firm is up against some players with serious technological chops and large installed bases. The matchup in DMLS also pits very different firms and funding mechanisms against each other.
EOS is closely held an asset of the Langer family whose second-generation CEO Marie Langer recently told us “would never sell.” The Langer family has its sights set on a far off horizon. I once said, only half-jokingly, “no they won’t sell to Siemens, they want to be Siemens.” They are trying to cement EOS’ lead and burrow deep into applications with broad materials and industrial penetration and a focus on organizational design, sustainability, and stewardship. Meanwhile, GE is a large corporate, wounded sure, but still one of the mightiest and formidable engineering organizations on this earth. They are focusing on industrializing 3D printing for themselves in order to gain further entrenched advantages in aero engines and other units. GE’s commitment is sometimes questioned by those who could imagine the firm walking away from our industry. I do see them as capable of taking sanguine decisions but Additive is in one sense a rounding error for them but also a way for them to gain advantages in markets that they are strong while speeding up to go to market and saving costs. SLM is Parcom private equity-owned the firm is really making progress with new machine generations but still somehow seems hurting from being a hares breadth away from being acquired by GE years ago. They signed before it was killed by activist investor Elliott demanding more and GE bought Concept Laser instead which was a huge misread by Elliott because they should have realized that what GE needed most was Arcam. There was no alternative for Arcam EBM patent cover but there was for DMLS patent cover. SLM did have a big win when manufacturing leader Beam IT bought 15 systems recently though. Other firms such as precision measurement firm Renishaw is making more credible machines now but still seems a bit behind in the new generation of automated higher productivity machines. 3D Systems is trying to partner in order to deliver post-processing and workflows. DMG Mori and other entrants are gearing up, as is Trumpf. Additive Industries is a startup with a long view, vision, and breadth but this kind of Velo3D investment thing could make them think of tie-up possibilities due to comparative scale even though their series focused machine is very much where the market is headed.
With investor attention long focused on binder jet, this will put the spotlight on DMLS 3D printing once again for the Silicon Valley set; and now for higher value parts manufacturing in aerospace, oil and gas, and the like. The hope of binder jet is now replaced by the higher cost reality of DMLS. This is a great development for our industry and a huge win for Benny and the team.