In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Magnus René, CEO of Arcam AB ORD (OTC:AMAVF), a Swedish-based 3D printing company that offers electron-beam-melting 3D metal printing solutions. During the segment, which was recorded at EuroMold 2014, the world's largest 3D printing conference held in Frankfurt, Germany, in November, René touches on the overall interest in Arcam's products and services at the conference, how its electron-beam-melting technology works, and a recent discovery around the ability to manipulate material properties using the technology.
A full transcript follows the video.
Steve Heller: Steve Heller here. I'm joined today with Magnus René, CEO of Arcam. It is a Swedish-based electron-beam-melting 3D printing company. Very interesting company, very high-growth industry with their technology -- basically a metal 3D printing company.
Magnus, I wanted to just get right into it. This year's EuroMold, what are your thoughts, what are your takeaways? How is Arcam doing in the competitive landscape?
Magnus René: We are doing very fine. This year's EuroMold, one change is that we have, I would say at least 50% more visitors, 50% more interesting prospects than we had last year and the year before, so it's a big step forward for us here this year.
Heller: Very good. Can you explain in a little bit more detail, I know electron beam melting is a proprietary technology. What makes it so unique? In the competitive landscape, direct metal laser sintering seems to be pretty popular at this show. You have the stronghold on EBM; let's talk about it some more.
René: Yes. What we do in EBM is that we have a lot of power and we control that power in a very refined way, and we operate under vacuum. That means that we build in a hot environment. It's more like a casting process than anything else.
That gives us high productivity, a very fast process, of course low cost of the components. It gives us components with very good material properties with regards to fatigue, density, but also with regards to stress and such. Our parts don't have to be stress relieved. They are ready to go, directly out of the process -- so efficient process with good materials, parts ready to go.
Heller: I see. There was a recent discovery, I guess is how you put it. Oak Ridge National Labs made some discovery around electron beam melting and controlling material properties at a very finite level. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that, and what that actually means for the long-term implications.
Obviously, we're far away from the commercial adoption of such a technology, but what does this actually mean? I was wondering if you could just explain that a little bit more.
René: It's a very exciting discovery, but it's very early on. What we have done at Oak Ridge is that -- again, I said just recently, this is like casting. You can even call it "micro-casting."
It means that we can control the properties of the material in different parts of the component, so we can make a component and we have one type of microstructure in one end and another type of microstructure in another end, which means that we can have different material properties in different sections of a [3D-printed] component.
This is a discovery, so it's far from industrialized. It's something that people have been interested in doing for a long time, but it's just not possible to do that in any other way. Long term, it could be a very important opportunity for us.