Holo’s Intricate Metal 3D Printing Assets Acquired by MIM Producer Greene Group Industries

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Greene Group Industries (GGI) has struck a deal to acquire Holo’s assets. An Autodesk spinout, Holo is a pioneer in large-scale digital manufacturing for intricate metal parts. Although the company did not disclose the value and terms of the transaction, we do know that GGI has acquired Holo’s patented PureForm additive manufacturing technology, which enables rapid prototyping and scaled production of complex metal parts.

With a century-long history and expertise in providing high-quality metal parts and services. GGI is recognized as an industry leader in various metal forming technologies, including stamping, forming, CNC machining, wire electrical discharge machining (EDM), and metal injection molding (MIM). Its state-of-the-art manufacturing, sales, and support network enables it to take an initial product concept, rapidly provide a prototype, and develop a short-run production process.

Before acquiring Holo’s assets, GGI established a strategic partnership with New York-based private equity firm Tinicum LP, which invests money on behalf of the Ruttenberg family, known for their pioneering involvement in investment activities since the 1940s. Along with affiliated funds managed by Tinicum Incorporated, Tinicum LP acquired a controlling interest in GGI to accelerate investments in technology, enhance capabilities, and meet the growing demands of global customers. This partnership allows GGI to leverage Tinicum’s expertise in industrial technologies and benefit from the Ruttenberg family’s legacy in investment activities.

“Holo’s technology is a great addition to our comprehensive offering of metal injection molding, stamping, and precision machining. This transaction enables GGI to deliver prototype metal parts, with a surface finish and feature resolution comparable to metal injection molding, in a best-in-class lead time of less than two weeks,” said GGI’s CEO, Alexis Willingham. “PureForm additive manufacturing technology will strengthen our partnerships with customers by supporting faster iterations through the entire product life cycle while GGI maintains its premium engineering service and quality performance.”

Customer parts ready to go. Image courtesy of Holo.

Holo’s flagship PureForm, additive manufacturing technology, uses a proprietary slurry consisting of MIM powder and a photoresistive polymer binder. This innovative approach allows for the construction of parts layer by layer using high-resolution, high-throughput optical printers specially developed by Holo. Initially, the parts are created in a “green state,” containing the binder material. This binder is then eliminated during a sintering process in a high-temperature oven, ensuring the densification of the parts and imparting strength, resulting in final products with qualities that closely mimic those of bulk materials. The PureForm technology facilitates rapid prototyping and the scaled production of complex designs that are challenging to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. It is ideal for aerospace, automotive, medical, electronics, and industrial sectors.

Additionally, the result of the printing process is a green part that mixes metal particles and polymer binders. Subsequent processes de-bind the polymer and then combine the metal particles to form completely dense metal parts. This process is familiar in the industry and resembles the standard process used in various 3D printing technologies.

“The backend process is virtually identical to MIM,” as Holo states. This means that PureForm uses the same process as metal injection molding (MIM), where the polymer binder is removed, and the metal particles are sintered together to form fully dense metal parts.

Furthermore, PureForm uses MIM powder in its special metal-polymer mixture, which means it can potentially print metal items in various MIM powders. This makes PureForm different from regular MIM methods since it doesn’t need molds, it makes parts with surface finishes and details that meet or beat MIM standards, there’s no need for extra work after printing, and it can handle larger production volumes, making tens of thousands of parts each month possible. For large-scale production, Holo recommends traditional MIM processes, suggesting PureForm users consider designs compatible with injection molding for scalability.

Holo H200. Image courtesy of Holo.

Founded as a spinout from Autodesk and backed by top-tier Silicon Valley investors and strategic partners, Holo’s proprietary digital manufacturing platform produces high-resolution parts across a wide range of material classes, including metals, ceramics, and composites.

With the acquisition of Holo’s assets, GGI not only brings the innovative PureForm technology into its operations but also gains control over key aspects of Holo’s technology and intellectual property, including expertise in rapid prototyping, scaled production, and achieving surface finishes similar to metal injection molding. This integration will enhance GGI’s capabilities, setting higher standards for efficiency and quality in the industry and offering customers improved services, faster lead times, and an expanded array of metal-forming solutions.

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