Lockheed Martin Invests in Advanced 3D Printing Bureau Sintavia

Metal AM Markets

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Advanced 3D printing service Sintavia has announced a direct equity investment from Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). Though the exact sum has not been disclosed, the investment represents the aerospace giant’s desire to secure its own digital manufacturing supply chain.

As one of the most established of the aerospace- and space-focused additive manufacturing (AM) bureaus, Sintavia boasts the production of “some of the most advanced mechanical systems used in flight applications today, including multi-circuit heat exchangers, complex thermodynamic chassis, and monolithic cooling pumps.” Lockheed has been a partner since 2019, receiving parts from Sintavia across all four of its business areas. Sintavia has produced parts for such weapons systems as the F-35 and F-22.

Sintavia AM parts for aerospace. Image courtesy of Business Wire.

Together with Lockheed, the company began exploring 3D printing opportunities connected to the Biden administration’s AM Forward program in December 2022. The initiative has seen major manufacturers, from Boeing and Northrup Grumman to GE and Siemens, boost their supply chain resilience by adopting AM and other smart production technologies from small, local firms. Sintavia has been the face of these suppliers since the program kicked off, with Biden paying a visit to the business’s Hollywood, Florida headquarters to announce the AM Forward initiative.

“Lockheed Martin’s strategic investment expands our existing joint development agreement with Sintavia announced last December,” said David Tatro, Vice President for Operations Process Transformation at Lockheed Martin. “We look forward to strengthening our collaboration on the design and supply of additively manufactured parts across the defense industrial base.”

Copper parts 3D printed by Sintavia.

Outside of its relationship with Lockheed Martin, Sintavia’s work in the defense supply chain has been significant. Just this year, it was selected to develop a 3D printing facility to support the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program for nuclear-powered subs. The latest investment will see Sintavia fund further development and testing, with Sintavia founder and CEO Brian Neff saying the following:

“This investment not only cements the relationship between Lockheed Martin and Sintavia, but also demonstrates the fact that Sintavia’s thermodynamic components—optimized through additive technology—are sought after by the largest and most substantial prime integrators within the aerospace & defense industry. Lockheed Martin represents the very best of these, and we are honored to have their backing as we continue to grow and expand our product line.”

Lockheed’s investment into 3D printing has gone much further than just the commissioning of 3D printed parts from providers like Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. and CAES. The military giant has provided funds directly to 3D printing focused firms outside of Sintavia, including Terran Orbital and Fortify, with whom it went so far as to invest alongside Raytheon for the first time.

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