Just under a week before the manufacturing giant Alcoa is set to report its second quarter earnings, the company announced the opening of massive facility to produce metallic powders for 3d printing.
The company has been quite vocal about its interest in 3d printing, and the new facility in Pittsburgh is part of the firm's $60 million investment into the technology.
“Alcoa is forging a leadership path in additive manufacturing with a sharp focus on the critical input material—metal powders,” said Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “We are combining our expertise in metallurgy, manufacturing, design and product qualification to push beyond the possibilities of today’s 3D printing technologies for aerospace and other growth markets.”
This news follows an announcement earlier this year that European aerospace giant Airbus had selected Alcoa to produce 3d printed titanium parts for its aircraft fleet.
"Metal powders used for 3D printing durable, high-quality aerospace parts are available in limited quantities," the company told reporters. "Through this expansion, announced in September 2015, Alcoa will develop materials with the specific properties needed to 3D print high-performance components. Alcoa has deep expertise in metal alloy development having invented most of the aluminum alloys used in aerospace today."
Alcoa created a company known as Arconic, which aims to "transform the way we fly, drive, build, package and power," according to the company, and the new 3d printing facility in Pittsburgh will operate under the Arconic umbrella once the company is formally launched later this year.