Aerospace metal 3D printing firm Morf3D launched its new headquarters in Long Beach, California. The 90,000 square feet space located at 3550 Carson Street will house both the company’s business operations and an unprecedented advanced manufacturing facility. News of the strategic launch of Morf3D’s new Applied Digital Manufacturing Center comes just two weeks after Nikon acquired majority ownership of the company.
Designed with a vision of innovation and growth, the center will harness applied research, advanced engineering, application development, serial production, and most significantly, new industry partnerships with global leaders to drive the industrialization of digital manufacturing in high growth markets. Through these partnerships, Morf3D will support new developments and innovations to accelerate customer adoption and overall industrialization of digital manufacturing.
Morf3D’s CEO Ivan Madera said in a LinkedIn post, “It’s been a long-standing dream and vision of Morf3D Inc to be transformative, to challenge ourselves beyond the norm, to push the boundaries and capabilities of what is possible with advanced manufacturing, to define an industry with innovations and technological breakthroughs. Today that vision springs to life with the launch of our Applied Digital Manufacturing Center.”
Madera also considers that the new space will be a game changer for the company, helping it go beyond adding capacity or capability by focusing on solving challenges related to manufacturing and qualification of additive manufacturing (AM) flight hardware across multiple disciplines. He hopes Morf3D will transition from a part manufacturer to an innovation partner. As to the recent strategic investment by Nikon, Madera believes it will afford customers access to cutting-edge technology that will create an entirely new value chain to reinvent aerospace manufacturing.
The move from its original Innovation Center in El Segundo, California, to the novel Long Beach facility emphasizes the startup’s commitment to developing a strong industrial base that improves the quality of its products, enhances its technical capabilities, and enriches customer applications worldwide. At peak, the center will be home to 150 multi-discipline engineers, research staff, and technical teams. At the new location, Morf3D will be close to some major players in the up-and-coming space industry, like Virgin Orbit and Relativity Space.
Established in 2015, Morf3D has supplied highly complex 3D printed customized parts for flight to companies in aerospace, defense, and space. Many of its products have landed on the Moon, orbited Earth, and helped strengthened applications for customers. This is due to the fact that Morf3D serves the world’s largest aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, and Collins Aerospace. Particularly, the startup has maintained a close relationship with one of its main clients, Boeing, producing 3D printed titanium and aluminum components for its satellites and helicopters. The commercial jetliner manufacturer even funded Morf3D on two occasions, once in April 2018 and again in August 2019, through its venture capital arm, HorizonX Ventures, which identifies late seed through mid-growth stage startup opportunities for investment.
Morf3D’s metallurgy experts leverage 3D printing technologies, especially metal printers from industrial AM manufacturer EOS, to supply high-end production flight hardware. Combining innovative design rules, software, and AM technologies, the business seeks to significantly reduce mass while increasing the performance and functionality of manufactured parts. Due to its strong innovation pipeline and highly specialized aerospace manufacturing qualifications, it’s clear why Nikon chose Morf3D as part of its expansion into materials processing technologies. On April 6, 2021, after announcing the acquisition, the century-old Japanese pioneer optical and imaging technologies said it intends to drive the industrialization of digital manufacturing by leveraging synergies from strategic investments and alliances with industry-leading companies worldwide.
Madera has articulated an expansive forward-looking growth strategy for his company. Relying on an AM market that is maturing, the startup’s leader expects to see increased production demands with very stringent requirements. But he says the company is prepared to take on that challenge, citing strong customer relationships coupled with an AM lifecycle strategy that has quickly evolved from material qualification to production at scale. Throughout the last few years, Morf3D has established a robust supply chain with industry partners to increase its metal AM capacity and services exponentially. Moreover, the new headquarters seem to be an ideal place to move that capacity forward.
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