Updated: Jun 17
New Business Models in Manufacturing Technology Part 2 of 5
With the emergence of many new business models in the manufacturing technology (MT) ecosystem, AMT spoke to several member companies to learn about their paths to success. We learned that each of these innovators identified a need in the market that was not being met by existing solutions and turned this into a business opportunity. Another recurring theme was that the company founders or senior executives had broad sets of skills that combined proven business experience with technical know-how in order to develop a successful market strategy.
Over the years, Matt Sand, president, 3DEO, has started several companies in widely divergent markets and considers himself an entrepreneur at heart. About six years ago, he became attracted to the potential of additive manufacturing (AM) and what he saw as its power to transform manufacturing. He partnered with Matthew Petros, CEO, then a Ph.D. researcher in metallic AM at the CRAFT laboratories at the University of Southern California (USC); and Payman Torabi, CTO, also getting his Ph.D. in AM at USC at the time. The three self-funded and launched 3DEO in 2016 with the goal of creating accurate, on-demand printing of repeatable metal parts using an innovative patented process they developed called Intelligent Layering® technology.
Intelligent Layering® technology is ideal for serial production and can compete successfully with traditional technologies like metal injection molding and CNC machining in terms of part pricing, material properties, and quantities. In fact, part properties exceed MPIF Standard 35, the widely accepted MIM standard. 3DEO specializes in manufacturing low to medium volumes on demand, focusing on small, complex stainless-steel components in the medical, defense, aerospace, and industrial equipment markets. It also offers a variety of secondary operations including heat treating, vibratory deburring, sizing and coining, machining, and steam treating.
Sand’s vision for the company has expanded since 2016, and he now believes that the potential of AM is greater than he originally anticipated. Although company growth has not been without challenges such as scaling a new technology and hardware, his vision today has expanded to build a true “factory of the future.”
“We are currently building our first factory – a digitally integrated end-to-end production line with room for up to 50 machines and 13,000 square feet capacity that can produce tens of thousands of pieces a day. It will be completely data driven, flexible, without an expensive set up, and extremely high quality – and as close to fully automated as a manufacturing facility can be. With a digital thread running throughout the factory, we will know what is happening at every point in production and be able to immediately react to any failures or defects,” said Sand.
For more on the New Business Models series:
Read part one here. Velo3D – The industry’s first “SupportFree” manufacturing solution for 3D metal printing, enabling unlimited design innovation by reducing the need for support structures.
Read part three here. Xometry – Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) to improve the sourcing process and enable cost-effective and efficient sourcing of high-quality custom parts.
Read part four here. Protolabs – Manufacturer of low-volume, custom, on-demand production parts and prototypes enabled through proprietary software and advanced manufacturing processes that automate much of the expensive skilled labor conventionally required in quoting, production engineering, and manufacturing.
Read part five here. Tangible Solutions – Strategic move from manufacturing AM prototypes for a broad customer base to an exclusive focus on manufacturing class (I), (II), and (III) 3D printed titanium implants for the national market.
Read AMT’s full white paper on new business models here.