Wayland Additive, a metal 3D printing start-up based in West Yorkshire, UK, has raised £3 million in funding to develop fast and reliable electron beam additive manufacturing systems for aerospace and medical industries.
Longwall Ventures and the Angel CoFund have led the investment.
Advancing electron beam 3D printing
Entering the 3D printing industry this year, Wayland Additive, headquartered in Huddersfield, is developing electron microscopy and electron beam lithography technology. This aims to provide higher productivity, improved process monitoring and control, and versatility in materials for metal additive manufacturing.
The electron beam or EBM process consist of an energy source capable of melting metal powders to produce complex, industrial-grade parts. The new funds will help finalize Wayland Additive’s first 3D printer, which is expected to go to market in May 2021 to approximately six customers.
According to Will Richardson, CEO of Wayland Additive, the company’s prototype 3D printer will be quicker than competing metal printing products. “We could try and scale it faster, but our feeling is that we don’t want to spread ourselves too thinly,” explained Richardson. The system has particularly been designed with the healthcare sector in mind.
“THERE’S THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE PARTS WHICH ARE CUSTOMIZED TO THE INDIVIDUAL PATIENT. THAT’S GOING TO GIVE A BETTER RESULT AND FASTER RECOVERY TIMES FOR PATIENTS AFTER SURGERY.”
Metal additive manufacturing
Within metal additive manufacturing, EBM has been an area of advancement. Most recently, Ruselectronics, a Russian holding corporation and a subsidiary of state-owned Rostec, has began developing an electron beam metal 3D printer for aerospace applications. The research and development work will be carried out by Toriy Scientific Production Association (НПП Торий).
In addition, Sciaky, Inc., a Chicago-based provider of metal 3D printing solutions, entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants headquartered in Sydney, to expand its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) technology across Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.