Digital manufacturing innovator VELO3D and Lam Research Corporation announced a joint development agreement that includes collaboration on novel materials and designs in metal additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing applications for the semiconductor industry. Lam plans to significantly increase the volume of parts produced by AM over the next five years.
Additive manufacturing allows transformation of the supply chain from production of parts typically manufactured by subtractive methods, to higher performance, innovative designs that enable agile supply chains to adopt Industry 4.0 principles. VELO3D will develop new metal alloys on its Sapphire printer that are critical to Lam designs and technologies. Lam Capital will also invest an undisclosed amount in VELO3D.
“Lam Research is leveraging additive manufacturing as a driver of the innovation that enables our customers to build smaller, faster, more powerful, and power-efficient electronic devices for everyday use,” said Kevin Jennings, senior vice president of Global Operations at Lam Research. “This joint development arrangement aligns well with Lam’s mission to continuously seek new technologies that push the limits of product design and manufacturing. We are excited to lead the semiconductor industry in delivering value to our customers from AM.”
“Semiconductor manufacturing is one of the best examples of high-volume production and Lam requires the highest levels of repeatability and consistency to achieve precision control at atomic scale,” states Benny Buller, CEO and founder of VELO3D. “VELO3D is well positioned to provide confidence in metal 3D printing due to our calibration, metrology, and digital traceability capabilities. This relationship aims to accelerate Lam’s journey of continuous innovation toward producing equipment that creates cutting-edge microprocessors, memory devices, and numerous related product types.”
Metal AM is a promising component of the digital transformation movement that is reducing reliance on analog manufacturing methodologies. Starting with a CAD file, AM builds production metal parts using lasers to fuse fine metal powder, layer by layer. 3D printing enables accelerated timelines, reduction in raw materials, and complex designs that are too difficult or costly to manufacture using conventional methods.VELO3D recently closed a $40M round of funding, bringing total funding for the company to $150M. This new investment enables the company to expand its technology capabilities and reach profitability by mid-2022.