As we learned recently from the folks at Stifel, when one company lists on the stock market, it gives other businesses the initiative and confidence to follow suit. After a long list of 3D printing firms have made announcements to go public, yet another IPO domino has fallen. Freemelt, a Swedish manufacturer of electron beam powder bed fusion (E-PBF) 3D printers, has announced that, as of July 7, 2021, it will be trading on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market under the symbol “FREEM” with ISIN code SE0011167170.
Founded by metal 3D printing veterans in 2017, the company first developed the Freemelt ONE 3D printer, an open-source machine dedicated to material development. The reason behind this was that, in order for metal 3D printing to flourish, the proper metals were needed, which meant that it was, therefore, necessary for users to be able to tinker with the machine and its parameters. Meanwhile, the company’s U.S. division, Open Additive, has developed an open laser PBF machine.
The company was able to earn net sales of SEK 6.4 million (USD$750,000) in 2020, with a loss of a SEK 4.4 million (USD$520,000). Total assets for the firm are roughly SEK 33.7 million (USD$3.9 million). Ahead of the IPO, the company was able to raise SEK 85 million ($9.94 million) at a subscription price of SEK 10/share. Freemelt’s share capital is divided into 36,600,000 shares totaling SEK 1,830,000 (USD$214,000).
So far, the firm has about 5,000 shareholders, the largest of which are Carlbergssjön AB, Industrifonden, Lindeblad Venture AB, Palmstierna Invest AB and Ola Rollén. The Board of Directors, senior management and major shareholders will not sell any shares, representing 68 percent of total outstanding shares in Freemelt, for one year from the first day of trading.
“The recently completed investment round now gives us the opportunity to develop a powerful and cost-effective 3D printing system for the manufacturing industry to broaden our offering in line with our long-term strategy. The listing of Freemelt on Nasdaq First North Growth Market is an important step in the development of the Company, which will increase awareness of Freemelt and our products,” said Freemelt CEO Ulric Ljungblad.
The company will leverage the funds from its IPO to move from a materials development system onto a production machine, targeted toward specific markets. The firm’s Board of Directors believes that the public listing will give Freemelt the necessary conditions for growth.
Though not even as close to as widespread, E-PBF is growing in terms of competition. This is in part due to the potential benefits of E-PBF over L-PBF, which Freemelt’s Patrik Ohldin explained to us in an interview as follows:
“I would say that E-PBF’s main advantages are the high output power (currently up to 6 kW) that gives high productivity and enables high process temperatures (>1.000 ˚C), and the extremely clean process environment (equivalent to the parts per billion range for oxygen) that the high vacuum provides. Hot processing has proven successful to eliminate internal stresses and deformation of built parts, and also helps prevent crack formation. Furthermore, the electron beam’s high translation speed gives you excellent process temperature control and an unrivaled opportunity to tailor microstructures and material properties. It has for example been demonstrated that single crystal materials can be made with E-PBF. Yet another potential of E-PBF is the multitude of process monitoring technologies that require high vacuum to work. I am convinced that we will see new advanced solutions for E-PBF process monitoring in the future.”
Given the increasing competition in the E-PBF space, the IPO may very well give Freemelt the boost it needs. In addition to industry leader and GE subsidiary Arcam, there are Wayland Additive and JEOL, which claim to improve upon traditional E-PBF in their own ways, as well as pro-beam, which has the support of FIT AG. This means that Freemelt will need all it can get in terms of financial backing in order to keep ahead.