By 3D Print.com, Sarah Saunders
Production-grade metal 3D printing leader Optomec has announced its acquisition of Huffman, a South Carolina-based company that has years of experience in supplying metal 3D printing systems for the additive repair of gas turbine components in the energy and aviation markets. This acquisition will increase its reach within Huffman’s home in the gas turbine market, which is good news for Optomec, as the global commercial aviation and power industry spend quite a lot of money each year on repairs.
Huffman and Optomec both offer a metal 3D printing process known as Directed Energy Deposition (DED), or LENS, which has several advantages over more well-known methods like selective laser melting or powder bed fusion. For example, LENS can 3D print parts in far less time, and for far less money, than SLM (LPBF, DMLS) methods can, and the process is also unique in its ability to add metal to existing parts for applications in coating and repair that can actually increase a component’s useful shelf life.