Power Management Giant Eaton Taps Foundry Lab for Unique 3D Printing Tech

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Foundry Lab, a metal additive manufacturing (AM) company based in Wellington, New Zealand, announced that it has formed a partnership with global power management leader Eaton Corporation. Through the partnership, Foundry Lab will develop parts for Eaton with its unique Digital Metal Casting System.

Debuted at Formnext 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany, the Digital Metal Casting System deploys binder-jetting AM to print ceramic molds, which, when complete, are filled with metal slugs and then microwaved to create finished, casted parts in minutes. According to Foundry Lab, the Digital Metal Casting System holds some major advantages over existing metal AM techniques, most notably, production time and cost per part.

Eaton is a perfect example of how legacy manufacturing giants have taken leadership roles in disrupting their own business models by establishing AM footholds. Eaton opened an AM Center of Excellence (CoE) in Michigan in 2016, and has been a key innovator, especially for aircraft fuel components, in the US AM ecosystem.

In a press release about its collaboration to 3D print parts for Eaton with the Digital Metal Casting System, Cameron Peahl, the AM Manager at Eaton’s AM CoE, said, “Eaton is often faced with the challenge of applying AM to legacy techniques because changing the process and/or material is too big of an engineering hurdle. In this example, Foundry Lab’s technology provides a solution for us to leverage the speed and agility of additive while maintaining the conventional casting method and material, even including the cast-in-place steel pin. This is a huge step forward in our AM journey.”

The founder and CEO of Foundry Lab, David Moodie, said, “Working with Eaton to produce these parts has been an incredible opportunity. It is an exemplary showcase of what our system can achieve. Eaton’s application was typical of the pain that industry is currently facing. Many components can’t be 3D printed and are prohibitively expensive and slow to cast with traditional methods. This is the problem that our technology is here to fix.”

Foundry Lab will be taking orders for the Digital Metal Casting System at Formnext 2023 (November 7-10).

This story paints a nice picture of how determinative a role Formnext plays in shaping the global AM business cycle. It also illustrates how the best bets for immediately accelerating the scale-up of metal AM generally lie in applications in which AM can achieve direct 1:1 replacement of existing manufacturing techniques, above all castings and forgings.

Any time that an emerging AM company is able to work with a partner like Eaton it is obviously legitimizing, and that is particularly important in cases where the technology is both so novel and so potentially transformative as is Foundry Labs’. Eaton is precisely the sort of partner that can scale up a new, transformative technology, and deploy it for the highest-value applications.

Images courtesy of Foundry Labs

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