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AMS Spring 2023

Kevton Technologies Buys Seven Sapphire 3D Printers From Velo3D

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Velo3D (NYSE: VLD) sold seven Sapphire 3D printers to Kevton Industries subsidiary Kevton Technologies, a Houston-based emerging leader in precision component manufacturing. Announced during the IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2022 event in Chicago, the purchase is one of the largest ever from a contract manufacturer and will make Kevton Technologies one of the top suppliers of additively manufactured parts relying on Velo3D’s laser powder bed fusion technology.

Kevton Technologies will count on the 3D printers to provide space, aviation, defense, and oil and gas customers with advanced manufacturing capabilities. In fact, the first two Sapphire printers delivered to Kevton’s Houston, Texas facility are scheduled to begin producing parts for customers in the first quarter of 2023.

Owing to a “strong trend towards additive manufacturing, especially within the aerospace industry,” the move will help Kevton maintain a leadership position as a provider of manufactured parts within all its key industries, said Kevton Technologies President Kevin Nguyen.

“After meeting with many vendors of additive manufacturing technology, we understood how transformational Velo3D’s fully integrated solution could be for our service offering,” pointed out Nguyen.

Velo3D’s Sapphire laser fusion system. Image courtesy of Velo3D.

Introduced in 2018, Velo3D’s Sapphire system has been a strategic partner to innovators such as SpaceX, Honeywell, Honda, Chromalloy, Lam Research, Hermeus, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, using it to build some of their most complex designs. The Sapphire metal 3D printing system is assembled with a semiconductor mindset to ensure repeatability in serial manufacturing. In addition, it is paired with a non-contact recoater; its print process can fabricate the high aspect ratios and extremely thin wall structures needed for flight-critical applications.

Dramatically improving yields, Sapphire facilitates a printing process enabling lower angles and overhangs down to zero degrees, thin leak tight walls, large diameter, and tiny inner tubes with little or no supports.

In creating the Sapphire 3D production printer –– along with accompanying software and quality assurance systems — the Velo3D team set out to raise the bar higher within high-performance metal 3D printing, and the ability to create parts previously thought impossible, along with accelerating industrial fabrication overall.

Following the release of the Sapphire platform, Velo3D CEO Benny Buller said it enables “a new level of manufacturing above and beyond current metal additive manufacturing systems” while helping solve “the most complex customer problems with support-free metal AM.”

Headshot of VELO3D CEO Benny Buller. VELO3D Founder and CEO Benny Buller. Image courtesy of VELO3D.

With the purchase of the seven printers, Kevton now joins Velo3D’s Contract Manufacturer Network. That means Kevton will join other contract manufacturers experienced in full production methods (like StarHagen and Knust-Godwin) using Velo3D printers in-house to manufacture complex, high-value parts for some of the most demanding industries. In addition, by providing these companies with additive manufacturing technology for their own in-house machine shops, customers can now obtain finished pieces from their trusted contract manufacturers, which can integrate AM with other traditional technologies to make and finish parts all under one roof.

Commenting on the latest acquisition by Kevton, Buller suggested, “Additive manufacturing is seeing extensive growth right now, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the adoption we expect to see over the next decade. Companies with the foresight to acquire additive manufacturing technology now will be much better positioned to grow their market share in the coming years. We’re thrilled to be working with Kevton Technologies to help them establish themselves as a provider of mission-critical, additively manufactured metal parts.”

Helping customers build their most complex parts without compromising designs is what Kevton Technologies wants to offer its customers. Founded less than three years ago, Kevton gives customers an array of manufacturing services, including CNC turning, CNC milling, coordinate measuring machine inspections, wire electrical discharge machining (EDM), and other finishing services. Even more so, the company has an extensive list of certifications, including ISO 9000/AS9100 –– a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry.

Render of Kevton Technologies new manufacturing facility. Render of Kevton Technologies’ new manufacturing facility. Image courtesy of Kevton Technologies.

As part of the company’s expansion plans, the new Sapphire systems will fit perfectly at its new 20,000-square-foot facility, with room for at least three 3D printing machines and 30 additional CNC machines. The printers will become part of the latest additive manufacturing division, which plans to work to continue the company’s legacy within its key industries.

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