Additive manufacturing solutions developer and maker Optomec (Albuquerque, NM) has acquired metal 3D printing systems supplier Huffman (Clover, SC). Huffman's equipment and software are in production at virtually all major manufacturers of aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines that use its metal deposition capabilities to restore worn or damaged components at substantially lower cost than newly made spare parts.
The acquisition combines Optomec's market reach with Huffman's deep penetration in the gas turbine market. The synergies extend to complementary product portfolios and technical expertise, which together sets the stage for accelerated growth in both businesses.
Both companies deliver a form of metal 3D printing known as directed energy deposition (DED) that has distinct advantages over powder bed fusion (PBF) and selective laser melting (SLM). Optomec's LENS printers are able to print full parts at a fraction of the time and cost of PBF/SLM, yet with improved material and mechanical properties. Additionally, LENS is uniquely able to add metal to existing parts for repair and coating applications that extend the useful life of components.
The acquisition will expand the use of DED/LENS repair for the existing installed base of more than 100,000 gas turbines and engines, while also leveraging that expertise to drive greater adoption of cost-effective repairs for mainstream industrial applications.