How Arcam AB ORD Differentiates Itself From the Competition

Arcam's proprietary metal 3-D printing technology may give it an advantage over competing technologies.

Jul 9, 2014 at 3:45PM

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller and Motley Fool industrials analyst Blake Bos discuss metal 3-D printer maker Arcam (NASDAQOTH:AMAVF), and how it's differentiated from the competition. In particular, Arcam uses a proprietary metal 3-D printing technology called electron beam melting, or EBM, which gives it a significant speed advantage over competing direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS, technology. The drawback of Arcam's EBM technology is that it cannot achieve the same level of detail as DMLS, making it unfit for highly intricate applications. Going forward, potential Arcam investors should await new EBM product announcements to see whether it addresses these drawbacks.

A full transcript follows the video.

Warren Buffett: This new technology is a "real threat"
At the recent Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Warren Buffett admitted this emerging technology is threatening his biggest cash cow. While Buffett shakes in his billionaire boots, only a few investors are embracing this new market which experts say will be worth more than $2 trillion. Find out how you can cash in on this technology before the crowd catches on, by jumping into one company that could get you the biggest piece of the action. Click here to access a FREE investor alert on the company we're calling the "brains behind" the technology.

Blake Bos: Hey Fools, it's Blake and Steve here. We're here in Detroit, Michigan, at the RAPID Manufacturing Show. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers put this on. It's the biggest show for 3-D printing in North America.

Here we're at the Arcam booth, Steve. For investors that maybe aren't so familiar with Arcam, the company, what do they do? What kind of printer technology are they using? What markets are they focused on? Can you give investors an idea?

Steve Heller: Absolutely. Arcam is based out of Sweden. Their ticker is AMAVF in the States. They are a metal 3-D printing company focused on titanium, Inconel, aluminum, other metals. They use a technology called electron beam melting, and this technology is a competitor to direct metal laser sintering.

They have their own patents; the technology actually works a little bit differently. With DMLS, or direct metal laser sintering, you have a laser, you're melting powder -- metal -- layer by layer, and you're building...

Bos: Yes, and it shines off of a mirror.

Heller: Right, the mirror is doing all the intricacies of the part. It's moving around -- it's mechanical.

Bos: Kind of like the old-school TVs, that use the mirror to shine the light; the projection TVs.

Heller: Exactly, yes. In that sort of sense, but on a much more highly engineered level. EBM uses an electron beam. It's a vacuum chamber, and what makes EBM so unique -- right now, the resolution isn't as good. It's not necessarily as accurate.

Bos: "Resolution" means quality?

Heller: How detailed you can get. Right now, it's behind DMLS, but it's a much newer technology.

What's really interesting about it, though, you can take one EBM beam -- electron beam -- and split it with electromagnetism into 50 multi-beams; so, at one time you could have 50 beams shining on the print bed, so it is dramatically faster than any DMLS product on the market. The reason being, DMLS can only use one or two lasers at a time, and there are heat issues with that.

Since you're only using the same one beam, and you're splitting it up using electromagnets, you have a much bigger advantage long term. The technology could become more scalable for direct manufacturing in larger applications, larger runs.

Bos: We were just talking to the Arcam sales rep, and he was saying that speed is the primary advantage for the Arcam mediums.

Heller: Exactly. Right now, it's speed, and hopefully in the future, it's also precision. Between the two, as the technology advances and they become finer tuned, it should be a much more direct threat to DMLS, and maybe companies like GE and others will begin to consider adopting this technology in their manufacturing line.

GE is working on 3-D printing, with DMLS, their LEAP engine fuel nozzles. In the future, maybe generations from now, when Arcam gets their next-generation products, or maybe a couple generations -- we're still early in the cycle -- is what's important for investors to understand there.

This is also not guaranteed, but if they could pull it off and get a better resolution at the higher speed...

Bos: It opens new markets.

Heller: It's going to be a more economical choice for manufacturers.

Bos: Definitely. Investors, going forward looking at Arcam, it sounds like we should probably keep an eye on the new printer offerings that Arcam does come out with, and how that development progresses, new material developments, and higher resolutions in their printers.

Heller: Absolutely.

Bos: Thanks, Fools! Thanks for watching. Steve and Blake, signing out. 

Blake Bos has no position in any stocks mentioned. Steve Heller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information