German selective laser melting specialist mulls IPO

3D printer maker SLM Solutions has reportedly brought on two banks to prepare a potential stock market listing.

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Luebeck, Germany - German 3D printer maker SLM Solutions has reportedly hired Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse to prepare a potential stock market listing, hoping to benefit from a laser additive manufacturing/3D printing sector boom, recent reports have said.

3D printing technology, sometimes known as additive manufacturing (AM), is used to create solid objects from a digital model by laying down successive thin layers of material.

SLM Solutions specializes in selective laser melting (SLM) machines. Selective laser melting can shape any desired metal part geometry by melting metal powder layer by layer. It can produce complex-shaped components for many industry sectors, including in the aerospace area for aircraft engines and intricate medical devices for the medical industry.

Researchers have been making strides in SLM as the AM industry develops worldwide including in Australia and China. The U.S. White House is becoming involved in digital manufacturing partnerships for growth as well.

Research agencies such as Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. have been focusing on micro manufacturing and establishing processes on special materials. Machine systems for laser metal deposition as well as SLM have been built up within several research projects. Cincinnati Inc. and Oak Ridge National Lab have been advancing large-part additive manufacturing.

Last year, German mid-market buyout group DPE Deutsche Private Equity bought a 57% stake of SLM Solutions. The rest of the company is owned by founding partners.

SLM Solutions employs more than 80 workers in Germany and the US.

Photo courtesy of SLM Solutions

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