How Metal 3D Printing is ‘Dramatically’ Changing the Industry

 

3DEO is a small business based out of Gardena, CA, about 15 minutes from LAX airport in Los Angeles. The company uses proprietary metal 3D printing technology to manufacture production components, primarily for applications in the aerospace, automation, defense, industrial, and medical industries. Production components, not prototypes. Right now, the company has eight of its proprietary metal 3D printers in a 13,000-square-foot facility, but the space could accommodate another 42 printers to meet demand.

I recently had a chance to speak with Matt Sand, 3DEO's president for the last two years, and while he couldn't share specifics, he could discuss the industry, particularly, how metal 3D printing is changing the way that people manufacture parts.

"[Metal 3D printing has] dramatically reduced lead times," Sand says. With no minimum order quantities or upfront tooling investment, it provides the "flexibility to innovate rapidly on existing designs, create geometries not possible in traditional manufacturing, and reduce inventory with just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing.

3DEO focuses on small and complex components built in stainless steel. If it falls outside of their niche, they pass on the project. The firm has 25 employees, and has worked on some impressive applications, all of which are under a non-disclosure agreement.

The company is also a part of the Make it in America program. Created by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Make it in America program was designed to highlight U.S. manufacturing.

"We are proud to be an American manufacturing business and look forward to helping lead the initiative of bringing manufacturing back to the states with this innovative technology," says Sand.

The metal 3D printing market could be worth $10 billion by 2030, so it's a good thing they have room to grow.

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