AMS Spring 2023

Low-Cost DED Metal 3D Printing Heads to Singapore and Argentina via Meltio

6K SmarTech

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Spanish laser metal deposition solutions manufacturer Meltio continues to ramp up its sales coverage in Asia and Latin America. Following recent deals to sell its products in Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, Brazil, Japan, and the Benelux region, Meltio announced new partners, ELH Additive in Singapore and Tecmahe in Argentina.

Boosting its territorial spread can help speed up machine distribution and play a key role in after-sales support. As official sales partners, Tecmahe and ELH Additive will focus on building a supportive ecosystem for Meltio’s technology. One of the key strategies is to locally partner and drive business opportunities alongside technology centers, tooling machine companies, robotic integrators, academia, and industry.

Designed for industry without the need for industrial infrastructure, Meltio’s laser metal deposition (LMD) process is built around wire, the safest, cleanest, and lowest-cost metal feedstock in the market. LMD is a directed energy deposition (DED) process that functions by precisely stacking weld beads on top of one another, in powder or wire form, when introduced into the laser-generated melt pool.

Meltio's wire and powder multi laser deposition metal 3D printing platform.

Meltio’s wire and powder multi-laser deposition metal 3D printing platform. Image courtesy of Meltio.

Launched commercially at Formnext 2019 through a joint venture of Additec, a Las Vegas-based technology company, and Sicnova, a leading 3D printing equipment distributor, Meltio’s LMD multi-metal additive manufacturing technology and in-house materials enable a whole range of potential applications, including for the aerospace and oil and gas industries. Moreover, thanks to a patented process that uses multiple lasers, the technology offers some of the lowest production costs in the industry. CTO Brian Matthews even points out that in some cases, Meltio’s costs are lower than fused deposition modeling (FDM).

Meltio’s laser head incorporates multiple laser inputs and also high power capability. However, the technology is not only intended for 3D printing but can be adapted for traditional manufacturing, such as casting, CNC, and subtractive machining. For example, Meltio says its engine CNC integration solution can fit any CNC machine in the market by turning it into a hybrid manufacturing system with no inherent size constraints but those of the motion system.

Meltio's robotic arm.

Meltio’s robotic arm. Image courtesy of Meltio.

Since its inception, Meltio, headquartered in the Jaén province of southern Spain,  had plans to expand its territorial scope. The brand already sells most of its products abroad and hopes to reach more than 60 countries by 2022. In Asia, the startup has established a presence in countries such as China, Japan, and Kazakistan. The latest addition of a Singaporean sales partner brings it one step closer to its goal.

With ELH Additive as its official sales partner, it expects to boost growth in the Singapore metal additive manufacturing market. In addition, the 3D printing service bureau has ventured into AM since being established in 2009, providing services like reverse engineering to 3D printing, product development, and more. It is constantly expanding its partnerships and collaborates with R&D teams such as GE Aviation and ST Aerospace to enhance its engineering processes and capabilities. Aside from serving Singapore, the company also plans to supply Meltio products to other Southeast-Asian territories.

Naval propeller made by Meltio.

Naval propeller made by Meltio. Image courtesy of Meltio.

Similarly, in Latin America, Meltio has expanded into Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. Just a year ago, Meltio Territory Sales Manager, Juan Carlos Miralles, suggested the brand had big plans for the region, particularly for two of the most robust manufacturing markets, Mexico and Brazil. Still, the latest addition of Argentina will add new customers to the brand.

For the task, Meltio selected a local company with more than 60 years of experience in commercializing machine tools throughout the southern cone. Tecmahe is currently divided into three main branches, machine tools, robotic systems, and 3D printing, the latter being the fastest growing in recent years. Now, Meltio’s M450, Engine CNC Integration, and Engine Robot Integration are already being commercialized through Tecmahe’s official site, alongside machines from 3D Systems.

As one of Spain’s newest metal 3D printer manufacturers, Meltio expects to raise roughly €7.5 million by the end of this year, according to Spanish financial newspaper El Economista. Other expansion plans include commercial showrooms in India, China, and the US, along with a 57% workforce increase by late 2022, hoping to go from 70 employees to 110.

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