- SGLB president and CEO discusses disruptive 3D metal-printing technology and how it will reconfigure factory operation
- 3D metal printing is recognized as disruptive technology that can enhance numerous industries, including defense operations and capabilities
- Sigma Labs is set to harness benefits of focused efforts from 2019 in the upcoming year
- 3D metal printing is a multibillion-dollar market
Sigma Labs Inc. (NASDAQ: SGLB) President and CEO John Rice recently joined NNW’s Stuart Smith to discuss the company’s disruptive technology (http://nnw.fm/2DNrE). A leading developer of quality-control software for the commercial 3D-printing industry, SGLB offers PrintRite3D® software: a proprietary, real-time, computer-aided inspection (CAI) technology. The product is unique as the only in-process, quality-assurance software that revolutionizes the commercial 3D metal-printing industry by enabling nondestructive quality control intervention during the production process.
Sigma Labs was founded in 2010 by a team of senior scientists and engineers from Los Alamos Labs who were poised to develop revolutionary parts in metallurgy science. Managed by experts from different science disciplines such as physics, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, optics, artificial intelligence and data science, the company has become the go-to 3D-metal-printing source for quality control disruptive solutions.
While Rice acknowledges that today “disruption” is an overused term among industry practitioners and academics alike, the SGLB CEO notes that 3D printing is a disruptive technology that revolutionizes the way items – everything from consumer products to heavyweight industrial machinery – are created. SGLB technology will help reconfigure how factories operate in the future, transforming the facilities into Internet of Things factories that will be redesigned along the entire value chain, he says.
Among other industries, additive laser powder bed manufacturing (or 3D metal printing) is recognized as a disruptive technology that can considerably enhance all of manufacturing, especially the defense industry’s operations and military capabilities. Offering solutions such as unmanned and autonomous robotic systems, directed-energy weapons, human performance modification and cyber capabilities, 3D printing is set to transform warfare.
3D-printing technology allows on-demand production, improving the supply-chain responsiveness and reducing inventory, obsolescence risks and total costs. In addition, small scale, or “one-off” production, is viable with this technology because no economies of scale are needed, and standardization is no longer a requirement. As the technology matures, parts could be printed on-site from available materials.
Although 3D printing is considered a key technology that enhances the capabilities of the defense industry, a real challenge remains in the quality-control procedures as inspecting and testing complex shapes is costly and difficult. The 3D metal-printing technology has faced significant difficulties in producing highly consistent, repeatable, quality parts.
Sigma Labs’ technology solves this difficulty by allowing the parts to be monitored in real time during the production process while its flagship revolutionary software, PrintRite 3D, is extracting and assessing thermal information when a part is beginning to drift out of specification. The software is able to spot the precursors of quality issues and alert the machine operator, who can stop and make a correction immediately.
Even with quality-control challenges, 3D metal printing is a multibillion-dollar market. Verified Market Research valued the global 3D-printing market at $8.08 billion in 2017 and projected a CAGR of 25.5% from 2018 to 2025, when the market is expected to reach $49.74 billion.
These impressive growth rates have attracted considerable attention from investors, who have been investing heavily in 3D-printing companies, both public and VC backed. The sector’s growth potential could be even more spectacular with Sigma Labs’ technology solving major obstacles that prevent production at scale.
After a year of intense work, Sigma Labs currently has six major enterprise companies – three OEMs and three end users – that will be completing the test-and-evaluation phases of Sigma Labs’ equipment over the next months. SGLB has spent 2019 validating efficacy while moving toward full commercialization and is poised to harvest these efforts in this year.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SigmaLabsInc.com
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to SGLB are available in the company’s newsroom at http://nnw.fm/SGLB
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