Meltio CEO Angel Llavero discusses a $3 trillion market opportunity in an interview.


When the CEO of one of the largest metal businesses in the world reached out to Meltio CEO Angel Llavero, he initially thought it was about purchasing more material. Little did he know that the meeting would be about something much bigger. This interview is part of a series with leaders in the 3D printing industry.

The call came from ArcelorMittal, the multinational steel manufacturer founded by Lakshmi Mittal, known as the King of Steel. Although the company is now run by his son, Aditya Mittal, it continues to thrive, generating $80 billion in 2022. Meltio had been a reseller for 3D Systems since 2007, but Llavero had initially dismissed the emerging desktop 3D printing sector, believing it to be insignificant. However, customer requests kept pouring in, leading him to buy a desktop system to investigate further.

To his disappointment, the technology didn’t meet his expectations. Despite this setback, it allowed him to assess the company’s capability to build machines. In 2019, Meltio became a joint venture between Sicnova and Additec. Around this time, ArcelorMittal, which already had one of the best metal additive manufacturing laboratories in the world, expressed their interest in a new technology that could secure their company’s future.

Meltio’s Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology caught ArcelorMittal’s attention. Unlike traditional powder-based 3D printing, DED uses metal wire, which is cheaper and denser. The technology involves laser energy melting the wire to deposit and stack weld beads, creating successive layers quickly. Llavero emphasized that Meltio’s unique selling point is its flexibility. It can be integrated with robots or CNC machines, making it suitable for industrial applications rather than just prototyping.

However, just as Meltio was preparing to launch in the market in late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Like most companies, Meltio faced challenges, but despite the setbacks, they managed to sell 30 machines in 2020 and 68 machines in 2021. With the help of video calls, they sold a total of 98 machines during the two years of the pandemic.

Llavero highlighted the need for countries to develop their manufacturing capabilities in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Meltio’s technology offers flexibility, allowing companies to switch production materials quickly and reduce dependence on supply chains. They have worked with over 300 industrial customers globally, providing solutions for producing and repairing 3D printed metal parts using materials such as stainless steels, titanium, nickel, and Inconel.

Meltio is currently engaged in negotiations with various prominent companies in sectors such as space, nuclear, automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, mining, and energy. They are testing the best applications of wire-laser Meltio technology and aim to have the first factory using their technology on a massive scale operational by 2024.

Looking ahead, Llavero envisions a shift in the additive manufacturing landscape. He believes the industry is at a pivotal point where it must decide whether to remain a complementary technology or become a primary industrial tool. He also predicts a move from powder-based to wire-based metal additive manufacturing, citing wire’s advantages.

In conclusion, Meltio’s journey from dismissing the desktop 3D printing sector to becoming a leading provider of industrial 3D printing technology demonstrates the importance of being open to new opportunities. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Meltio has managed to establish itself as a reliable partner for industries seeking flexibility and efficiency in metal part production. With ongoing partnerships and new technology on the horizon, they are poised to shape the future of additive manufacturing.

Meltio metal additive manufacturing is disrupting the industrial production landscape, offering a low-cost, safe, and clean alternative for metal feedstock. This technology is not only readily available worldwide but also holds immense potential for scalability. In order to fully unlock this potential, Meltio recognizes the importance of creating an ecosystem in each country, involving universities, technology centers, and resellers.

The CEO of Meltio, Llavero, emphasized the need for additive manufacturing to demonstrate its applicability beyond just toy production. The goal is to showcase how different sectors, not just the automotive industry, can benefit from this technology for mass production. Llavero believes that the potential for additive manufacturing is enormous, and the current barrier to widespread adoption mainly lies in cost.

Meltio’s technology has showcased transformative potential, particularly in sustainable manufacturing. By targeting industries like automotive, Meltio aims to reduce the cycle time for injection plastic molds, resulting in significant cost and time savings. Furthermore, Meltio focuses on innovation in material use, optimizing rapid deposition and greatly improving productivity.

With its efficiency and flexibility, Meltio’s technology caters to industrial customers in various sectors worldwide, including automotive, oil & gas, aerospace, mining, and defense. Llavero confidently asserts that Meltio’s potential for productivity and stability surpasses any other technology in the market.

By comparing traditional manufacturing processes with Meltio’s approach, Llavero highlights the potential for massive cost savings. For example, in the prosthetics industry, Meltio’s technology could disrupt the market by making the cost of producing a customized prosthetic equivalent to buying a standard one. This level of cost reduction can democratize manufacturing and expand its accessibility.

Meltio’s primary competitors are traditional manufacturing technologies such as casting, forging, and machining. The volume of metal parts produced using these methods amounts to a staggering $3 trillion globally. However, Llavero believes that Meltio’s technology can make significant inroads into this market due to its advantages over traditional methods. Even capturing a small share, such as 1-2%, could lead to substantial revenue growth for Meltio.

One of Meltio’s standout features is its commitment to sustainability. By utilizing 100% of the material, Meltio reduces waste and energy consumption, making the manufacturing process more eco-friendly. Additionally, Meltio’s technology enables the reduction of material necessary for manufacturing, resulting in more efficient use of batteries for devices like autonomous vehicles.

Efficiency improvements are another key aspect of Meltio’s technology, with its end-to-end process or time to part being reduced by up to 80% in certain applications. Moreover, material removal can also see a reduction of 50% to 70% in some cases. Currently, Meltio is primarily focused on machine shops but has gained interest from significant OEMs across sectors like automotive and electronics.

Looking towards the future, Meltio aims to establish internal protocols, enhance quality control measures, and expand its factory capacity. The company’s growth has already been remarkable, with plans to double its team by the end of 2022 and have a team of over 100 people by the end of 2023. Meltio is also working on the next step of its technology to further improve its product offerings.

In summary, Meltio is on the brink of significant growth and innovation in the additive manufacturing industry. With its vision, technological advancements, and collaborative approach, the company seeks to redefine the manufacturing landscape. The future holds immense opportunities for 3D printing, and Meltio aims to tackle engineering challenges in the additive manufacturing sector to continue pushing boundaries and driving progress.

3D printing has become a revolutionary technology in recent years, with its potential to disrupt various industries and transform the way we manufacture and create objects. As we enter a new decade, it’s important to stay informed about the latest developments in this exciting field.

One of the best ways to stay updated is by subscribing to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter. This newsletter provides timely news and updates about the 3D printing industry, including new technologies, applications, and market trends. By subscribing, you can ensure that you never miss important information that could impact your business or personal projects.

Another way to stay connected is by following the 3D Printing Industry on Twitter and liking their page on Facebook. They regularly share interesting articles, videos, and insights about the industry, keeping you in the loop with the latest happenings. Social media platforms are a great way to engage with the 3D printing community and connect with like-minded individuals.

For those who prefer visual content, subscribing to the 3D Printing Industry’s YouTube channel is a must. Their channel features discussions, debriefs, video shorts, and webinar replays, providing a wealth of information and insights in an easy-to-consume format. Watching these videos can help you gain a deeper understanding of the technology, its applications, and its potential impact on various industries.

If you’re looking to advance your career in the additive manufacturing industry, 3D Printing Jobs is a valuable resource. They offer a selection of roles in the industry, ranging from design and engineering positions to sales and marketing roles. Browsing through the available job opportunities can help you find a job that aligns with your skills, interests, and goals.

In conclusion, staying informed about the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry is crucial as we enter the new decade. Subscribing to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, following them on social media, subscribing to their YouTube channel, and exploring job opportunities on 3D Printing Jobs can help you stay ahead of the curve. Embracing this transformative technology and keeping up with its advancements will not only benefit your professional growth but also open up new possibilities for innovation and creativity.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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