Oct 18, 2017 | By David

German 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions, named after the Selective Laser Melting 3D printing technique of which it has been a pioneer in recent years, has just announced a huge order of 70 3D printers from a major customer in Asia.

The order will have a value ranging from 31 million euros ($36.5M) to 48 million euros ($56.5M), depending on the final versions of SLM products that the customer chooses from the company's extensive 3D printer range. Under the terms of the deal, SLM Solutions will be delivering 70 of its additive manufacturing machines to the Asian company between now and 2020.

This single order contains more 3D printers than the company sold in the whole first half of 2017. A temporary dip in sales in the first quarter of this year saw just 47 units moved by the Lubeck-based company, down from 56 for the same period last year, though the company also secured its biggest-ever single order back in June.

Before this new deal, Italian manufacturer BeamIT signed a deal to purchase 15 SLM 3D printers, as well as helping out with the optimization and development of future products. BeamIT works with automotive, aerospace, and healthcare clients, and put in an order for 10 SLM 280 2.0 3D printers as well as five quad-laser SLM 500 machines. This record order has now been beaten by over four times the amount.

Despite the fluctuations in sales, companies tend to favor SLM’s higher-end, more expensive machines. This means that revenue remains relatively stable, and the company can expect to grow as stability brings with it increased confidence and renewed investment.

The new Asian customer’s order of 70 3D printers will probably be for the SLM 280 range. All kinds of strong and structurally complex metal prototypes, molds, and end-use products can be produced with the 280 using the SLM process, which makes use of precise laser beams and a bed of metal powder. The particular application that the new Asian client will be using the SLM 280 for is stamp and mold construction.

The increasing sizes of orders for SLM Solutions’ products in various regions across the globe have led the board to make the decision to test the feasibility and necessity of an expansion of its sales networks. Starting from 2018, the European, U.S., and Asian regions should see a significant increase in SLM Solutions sales and service points. By 2022, SLM Solutions expects to achieve a turnover of half a billion euros, with an EBITDA margin of 20 per cent.

Another couple of announcements recently made by SLM Solutions concern investment and the release of a new product. Around 58.5 million euros ($69M) has been raised from institutional investors from the sale of shares, and this extra cash should go towards a stepping-up of R&D projects to keep SLM Solutions at the head of the metal 3D printing pack.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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