Yorkshire UK-based 3D printing raw materials provider Metalysis recently reported a combined investment of $29 million (£20 million) from Woodford Patient Capital Trust — managed by Neil Woodford, one of Britain’s most prominent fund managers — and Iluka Resources, an existing investor in Metalysis.
Iluka has increased its interest in the Company to 28.8% as a result of this funding round. Other existing investors, such as BHP Billiton, are maintaining their stakes in the company.
Metalysis’ technology produces metal powders — primarily titanium, tantalum and bespoke alloys — at lower cost than traditional manufacturing processes and with reduced environmental impact. The increased use of metal powders in 3D printing is driving innovation in several sectors, including aerospace, automotive and biomedical engineering. This investment will support Metalysis’ growth and its commercial rollout, through strategic partnerships and licensing of its disruptive 3D printing powder technology.
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) printing is a process optimized for 3D printing metals rather than plastics or other materials. Instead of melting plastics and binders, DMLS printers actually create tiny welds using powders such as Metalysis’. Last April, Metalysis’ Director of Business Development, Dr. Kartik Rao, discussed how the company wants to change manufacturing with my colleague, Stuart Burns.
Rather than break raw metals down into powders, The Metalysis process transforms metal oxides into then-sinterable powders. It’s a cleaner and less-costly process.
Metalysis’ technology produces high-grade metal powders directly from oxides in fewer steps. The lower-cost powders suit a wide variety of 3D printing needs across a variety of high-tech, industrial and manufacturing sectors. Metalysis recently completed a program with TWI, a UK leader in materials technology innovation, which demonstrated the feasibility of its bespoke powders for 3D-printing orthopedic hip implants.