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ExOne printer makes largest titanium part ?1
An ExOne M-Print machine was used to make the largest additively manufactured complex commercial titanium part to date. The part was produced by Puris for an aerospace customer, and measures 19” x 19” x 11”, with a cross section thickness of 0.375" and weight of about 31 lbs.
This shouldn't be of much impact, but I suppose the company needs something that sounds like good news. On the good side, the 100% density of the finished product shows the unique potential of ExOne technology for industry. On the bad side, the part didn't even use the full 32” x 20” x 16” build box featured by the M-Print. The only thing that is surprising here is fact that this record was just achieved now, on a machine type that was introduced almost 3 years ago, rather than an Exerial. That shows how long it's taking for ExOne's business to truly get off the ground. With the end of the runway in sight, I continue to believe a crisis of both funds and faith in management is likely in store.
Speaking of which, I probably should have explained my last update on Rockwell's $13M share purchase better. Apart from the timing, the reason why I was critical of the announcement is that it doesn't actually give the company any more money than it had available before. Actually, it's less; ExOne formerly had a loan facility for $15M available from RHI Investments, which is also controlled by Rockwell, and that was terminated in favor of this share placement. A couple of readers asked why an insider buy wasn't a good thing. It should be understood that this is not an open market insider buy, where a company exec is buying floating shares off the market. It is a placement like any other that dilutes shareholders, and just happens to be to the company's CEO.
Hopefully that's enough said, but it also goes without saying that for any stock with as much short interest as XONE (25% of float before recent placements, 41% rebate rate) there are still likely to be wild swings. It's also somewhat likely that there will be an SA article to formally change my stance on the company.