Metal 3D Printing is now the new battle within the aerospace and automotive sectors. Consider that with the acquisition, GE, a major manufacturer of aircraft and aircraft engines controls TWO of the very few 3D metal printing companies; Arcam and SLM.
This is important because in recent years these two industries in particular have discovered ways of using metal 3D printing technologies in very profitable ways. In fact, it may be a defacto standard requirement for future products in these industries.
Thus, GE (and likely others in this area) feel they need to secure the supply of metal 3D printing equipment and associated powdered metals. That’s what they’ve done here: acquired two metal 3D printing companies, each with a slightly different process to cover off a wider range of industrial needs. As a bonus, Arcam also operates a major production facility for powdered metal material in Canada.
There’s now no fear from GE that these companies might shut down, because they own them. But what happens to the 3D Printing competitors? Will this mean a that all boats will rise on this tide of metal 3D Printing?