Manufacturing News

Nikon furthers investment into metal 3D printing with Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies

Nikon Corporation has announced an investment in Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Global, Inc. (HMT).

The news comes just weeks after the Japanese optical technology specialist announced a 622 million EUR deal to acquire metal 3D printing company SLM Solutions. In a document accompanying the news, Nikon expressed its intent to become ‘a global leader in Metal AM’ with a focus laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and directed energy deposition (DED) technologies.

Yuichi Shibazaki, Nikon Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Next Generation Project Division said: “This investment in HMT is the latest component of our Next Generation Project program to further industrialisation of digital manufacturing. As an industry leader with demonstrated collaborative capabilities, HMT and its AMBIT portfolio are well-matched with Nikon technologies. We look forward to working with them as part of our commitment to creating value and advancing society through novel industries like hybrid manufacturing.”

Founded in 2012, HMT pioneered an advanced manufacturing approach which allows manufacturers to combine both metal additive manufacturing and CNC machining processes into a single platform. HMT’s patented AMBIT deposition heads ultimately allow AM capabilities to be added to subtractive machine tools via a simple tool change. The technology is compatible with a range of methods and materials and can also be used to create custom solutions depending on specific application needs.  

Dr. Jason B. Jones, HMT Co-founder and CEO, commented: “We are honoured to receive investment from such a longstanding technology leader as Nikon. Together we will more fully deliver on the promise of additive and digital manufacturing. We expect the results of this technology will touch the lives of virtually all people on earth in the coming decades.”

“Hybrid is all about synergy,” Peter Coates, HMT Co-founder and CTO added. “For the better part of ten years in this industry we have taken pride in the strategic nature of our collaborations and our partnership with Nikon takes this to a whole new level by adding value to advanced manufacture.”

Further expanding its play in the metal AM field, Nikon has also made an investment in Optisys, Inc, a global provider of the design and manufacture of metal printed antennas for commercial and government applications. The move is described as yet another ‘central element’ of the company’s Next Generation Project program, and aims to enable the companies to accelerate the use of metal AM for high-performance antennas and other RF products.

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