In an earlier article we discussed 4 possible private acquisition candidates for Stratasys to enter 3D printing of metals. In this article we’ll take a closer look at one of these candidates, German company Concept Laser.
Established in 2000, Concept Laser regards itself as a pioneer in the field of laser fusing technology and employs around 500 workers. The company is fully owned for the Hoffman Innovation Group, a renowned company in the plastics processing industry. Concept Laser caters to the usual suspects in 3D printing metals; aerospace, automotive, dental, medical, and jewelry. The Company’s customer list includes names such as NASA, Honeywell, GE Aviation, Samsung, Canon, and BMW.
Concept Laser focuses solely on 3D printing with metals to include stainless steel, aluminium, nickel-base alloy,titanium alloys, pure titanium , cobalt-chromium, bronze, and precious metals. The Company first introduced their technology, LaserCUSING, in 2004 the term “CUSING” being made up from the words concept and fusing. The process uses a laser to fuse metallic powders and allows components to be built up layer by layer from almost any metal. The particular laser used completely melts the metal during the process producing a part that is free of stress and/or deformation. This unique laser along with the use of single-component metal powders differentiates the LaserCUSING process from competitive processes. The Company currently offers three machine models within the LaserCUSING range: the M1,M2, and M3. Each of these machines offers varying functionalities, work envelopes, and supported metals.
In August of this year, a press release was issued by NASA describing the use of Concept Laser’s technology to create the largest 3D printed rocket component ever built, an injector. During the test the nickel-chromium injector produced 10 times more thrust than any injector previously fabricated using 3-D printing. According to the article:
One of the keys to reducing the cost of rocket parts is minimizing the number of components. This injector had only two parts, whereas a similar injector tested earlier had 115 parts. Fewer parts require less assembly effort, which means complex parts made with 3-D printing have the potential for significant cost savings.
Concept Laser seems to compliment Hoffman Innovation Group quite well and it would seem unlikely they would look to sell the division to Stratasys. Public investors can only hope for a spin-out and pubic listing in order to gain exposure to this interesting company.