EOS announced a rather unusual service they call “AM Turnkey” for industrial clients.
The service could short-circuit issues frequently encountered when launching a new 3D printing operation.
Normally a client purchases an industrial 3D printer from EOS, and it’s shipped to the customer’s site. That site must be organized for metal 3D printing work, which is non-trivial.
Due to the risk of handling potentially explosive and toxic metal powder, significant HVAC configurations are often required to isolate humans from powder. There’s also sometimes the need to isolate machine from machine, if different metals are used and contamination is to be avoided.
This is all quite expensive to set up, sometimes exceeding the cost of the 3D printer itself. It gets even more challenging if regulatory certifications are required, as those can take months or years to obtain from the authorities.
All of this creates a significant barrier for new EOS clients. While they might be quite excited about the printing aspects, they may be deterred by the “other things” that must be done to enable printing.
EOS knows this, as they’ve no doubt heard this from prospects countless times during the sales process. Now, they’ve developed an approach to get around all of this difficulty with their new AM Turnkey service.
EOS already has a large technical center in Texas with plenty of space, and they’ve decided to use it for the AM Turnkey service. The customer purchases a machine, but instead of installing it at the customer’s site, it is set up in a dedicated and secure bay in EOS’ Texas facility.
Because the EOS facility is already built there is no need — or delay — for the customer to build their own metal printing-capable facility.
The EOS facility is also staffed by highly trained technicians from their Additive Minds branch, so this also avoids having the customer’s staff undergo lengthy training to get up to speed. The Additive Minds staff are shared amongst the AM Turnkey customers, so there could be savings there as well.
Finally, the EOS facility is ITAR certified. This means it is certified by the US government to produce defense-related products. This is a difficult certification to achieve, and it automatically comes with the dedicated bay at EOS.
Putting this all together shows a very intriguing approach from EOS. It means that many prospects that may have balked at the effort required to set up a metal 3D print system for a project might instead proceed by using the AM Turnkey service.
I see the AM Turnkey service positioned somewhere in-between using a print service and installing your own equipment. It’s a very interesting idea.
AM Turnkey will definitely add more customers to EOS, and just possibly set a precedent for other LBPF 3D printer manufacturers to consider. In the end we may see this approach as the default way to operate LPBF metal 3D printers, particularly for smaller customers.