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BLT sells the first large format metal 3D printer BLT-S800 in Europe -

BLT sells the first large format metal 3D printer BLT-S800 in Europe –

Just as RAPID + TCT was intended for the North American market, Formnext 2023 appears to have been a success for Chinese laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) companies in the European market. These companies not only presented large machines with many lasers at the event, but were also able to gain some new customers. While EPlus3D announced partnerships in Germany and Austria, Bright Laser Technologies (“BLT”, 688333.SH) signed a contract with Extreme Manufacturing Engineering (EME) at Formnext to purchase the BLT-S800 and BLT-S450.

EME is an Italian additive manufacturing (AM) solutions provider founded in 2023. For this reason, not too much information about the company is publicly available. While BLT introduced a 20-laser option for the machine, the BLT-S800 acquired by EME is equipped with eight 500W lasers and has a build size of 800mm × 800mm × 600mm, ideal for high-volume and Series production. In contrast, the BLT-S450 with its six lasers is suitable for producing smaller components with a build volume of 450 mm × 450 mm × 500 mm.

BLT S800 metal 3D printer

“We have increasing demand for additively manufactured parts in Europe, particularly in automotive, consumer electronics, medical devices and other applications such as structural parts for amusement rides,” said Eddi Tomat, CEO of EME. “Given their rich history and leadership in additive manufacturing, BLT is the ideal partner for us. In addition, the BLT team has always demonstrated professionalism and attentiveness in dealing with our needs and requests and we expect that the collaboration with BLT will become even closer.”

“BLT has taken the lead in introducing the large format printing system to the industry and has extensive experience in developing large format multilaser printing solutions. These two systems have undergone years of market validation. We hope to lower the barriers to adopting this technology and enable 3D metal printing in millions of factories by following the principle of “Make it possible, make it affordable.” We are pleased that BLT and EME have reached a consensus,” explained Dr. Xue Lei, CEO of BLT.

BLT is a particularly interesting company in the Chinese LPBF market. Founded in 2011, the company was the first company to be listed on China’s Science and Technology Innovation Board in 2019. As detailed in a recent article by analyst Sangmin “Simon” Lee, BLT has secured a top position in domestic market share and shipping volume. Unlike most other metal LPBF manufacturers in the country, BLT offers end-to-end metal AM solutions including equipment, printing services and software.

BLT’s growth with over 1,300 employees is reflected in the installation of the 1,000th metal LPBF machine worldwide. The company reported a 58.53% year-over-year revenue increase in the first half of 2023. With a market cap of $2.51 billion, BLT has overtaken the largest U.S. 3D printing companies, turning its previous net loss into a profit of $2.44 million in the first half of 2023.

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Shares of BLT defied a 4% drop on the Shanghai Stock Exchange to rise 20%, helped by rumors of the company’s involvement in Apple’s next Apple Watch Ultra. In addition to Apple, the company’s customers may also include large aerospace companies such as Airbus, with which BLT has partnered to 3D print large precision parts.

So by all accounts, BLT is one to beat in the LPBF market both in China and globally. We’ll see how next year plays out, but it looks like European and US LPBF metal 3D printer manufacturers will have to watch out for competition from Asia, not just in China but also in India.