(File photo: Xinhua/Li Changxiang)
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- US top aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company said Tuesday that it has joined some renowned venture firms to invest in a metal additive manufacturer company devoted to 3D-printing technology that boasts a promising prospect of 3D-printed parts for aerospace and other production applications.
Boeing said the new investment, which amounts to $12.9 million via a Series B funding round led by G20 Ventures in partnership with its investment unit HorizonX Ventures, Lincoln Electric and Khosla Ventures, will help 3D-printing firm Digital Alloys, Inc. develop high-speed, multi-metal additive manufacturing systems that produce 3D-printed parts for aerospace production.
Digital Alloys'Joule Printing technology can rapidly combine multiple metals into each part, which enhances thermal, electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties.
The process allows metals like titanium and high-temperature alloys to be 3D-printed for parts that could be used on Boeing products.
Founded in 2017, Digital Alloys that has recently been granted two US patents for its Joule Printing process, developed a patented 3D-printing approach that avoids the cost and complexity of powder-based systems, and delivers higher resolution than other wire-based 3D-printing techniques.
"Our investment in Digital Alloys will help Boeing produce metal structural aerospace parts faster and at higher volume than ever before," said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures.
"By investing in companies with emerging additive manufacturing technologies, we aim to strengthen Boeing's expertise and help accelerate the design and manufacture of 3D-printed parts to transform production systems and products," he added.
Duncan McCallum, CEO of Digital Alloys, said Boeing's investment will make his firm a smarter, stronger business that will help Boeing and other investors create valuable new products quickly and at less cost by incorporating metal 3D printing into their production.
Today, Boeing has more than 60,000 3D-printed parts flying on space, commercial and defense products that reflected Boeing's commitment to additive manufacturing innovation.
Digital Alloys, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, raised 5 million dollars in the Series A round of funding from the same venture firms last year.