BLT Pioneers Mass Production Era in Metal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is no longer just about comparing build volumes among manufacturers. While build volume remains a technical factor, the broader picture involves creating products that are manufacturable, affordable, efficient, high-quality, and stable with an excellent cost-to-performance ratio. The focus has shifted from specific metrics to ensuring equipment supports consistent long-term operations, offers comprehensive industry solutions, and enhances customer profitability.

Jia Xin, Deputy General Manager at Bright Laser Technologies (BLT), emphasized that only under these conditions will the industry fully embrace the technology. Cost-driven production is the foundation for effectively applying this technology in the field.

BLT is transitioning metal additive manufacturing to large-scale application, achieving approximately USD 170 million in revenue—a 34.24% year-over-year increase—and a net income of USD 19.6 million, a 78.11% year-over-year increase. This positions BLT as the leading publicly traded AM company globally by market capitalization.

At the 2021 TCT Asia show, BLT introduced the “Era of AM Mass Production,” marking the shift from experimental validation to large-scale application. As the focus moves from technology-driven to cost-driven, metal additive manufacturing is advancing steadily towards mass production. Jia Xin discussed BLT’s strategies and innovations driving this shift at the 2024 TCT Asia show.

Transitioning from Experimental Validation to Mass Production

Jia Xin highlighted BLT’s evolution from experimental validation to widespread mass application. BLT has recognized this trend and is dedicated to establishing comprehensive metal turnkey solutions, including a wide range of equipment, automatic powder circulation systems, and complementary software ecosystems.

Expanding Applications and Reducing Costs

As additive manufacturing becomes more prevalent, costs are decreasing. Technologies once confined to aerospace are now extensively used in everyday applications like molds, bicycles, and consumer electronics. These fields demand solutions offering high efficiency and stability due to heightened cost sensitivity.

In sectors like molds, bicycles, and consumer electronics, the utilization of additive manufacturing is growing. The volume of applications in these fields may even surpass that of aerospace. Achieving high efficiency and stability is paramount.

Innovations in Large-Format and Multi-Laser Metal AM Equipment

BLT has demonstrated technological prowess through innovations in multi-laser metal LPBF equipment, large-format printing, and multi-laser configurations. At TCT Asia 2024, BLT unveiled various multi-laser metal LPBF equipment, significantly enhancing production efficiency and output rates.

Despite limited application scenarios for large-format equipment, BLT has developed large-format machines like the BLT-S1500 and BLT-S800. Achieving high efficiency and low costs is essential for widespread adoption, and BLT has invested heavily in automation, stability, and consistency.

Driving Innovation with a Robust R&D Team

BLT’s strong R&D team, covering materials, equipment, processes, software, and post-processing, drives continuous innovation. With over 1,900 employees and more than 30% dedicated to R&D, BLT boasts one of the most comprehensive innovation systems for metal additive manufacturing globally.

Applications Across Multiple Sectors

BLT’s metal LPBF equipment is widely used in aerospace, molds, bicycles, and consumer electronics. In aerospace, BLT’s technology supports batch production of intricate components while maintaining low costs. In the industrial sector, BLT’s technology produces lightweight, high-strength bike frames and intricate electronic parts.

BLT’s technology also offers efficient and adaptable solutions for die-casting mold manufacturing, reducing cycles and enabling rapid prototyping of complex structures. Incorporating optimized cooling channel designs enhances cooling efficiency, prolonging mold lifespan and improving product quality.

Material Innovation and Software Systems

BLT continues to innovate in materials, developing novel materials like copper alloys, titanium-aluminum, and Ti65. These innovations expand the application of AM technology across various industries. BLT’s production capacity of over 400 metal LPBF equipment enables swift responses to customer demands.

BLT has also enhanced its software systems with BLT-BP 2.0 and BLT-MES, facilitating factory-level production line management, improving automation, and boosting production efficiency.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, BLT aims to develop AM technologies and equipment tailored to diverse applications, making metal AM both feasible and affordable. The company remains committed to continuous innovation, expanding AM technology across various fields, and meeting customer demands for high-efficiency, stable, and cost-effective solutions.

Original source AMN

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