Closing the Loop of the Metal Part Life Cycle
US Start-up Molyworks wins Formnext Start-up Challenge and AM Ventures Impact Award
Text: Thomas Masuch; Pictures: Molyworks
2020/10/22 — In addition to winning the Start-up Challenge, scrap metal recycling start-up Molyworks has also won the AM Impact Ventures Award for sustainable development. The Californian start-up offers a sustainable and climate friendly solution that converts metal waste from production (such as swarf) into metallic powder for 3D printing, thereby closing the loop of the metal part life cycle. The Greyhound system was first developed by the company founders, essentially in their own backyard, back in 2015. Today, the solution consists of a mobile smelting furnace and innovative powder nozzle.
Molyworks’ Greyhound system is used to produce powders for additive manufacturing directly at the customer’s premises from used powder, metal waste, and old parts. In total, the young team has already tested the equipment with 21 metals, including titanium, steel, nickel, aluminum, and copper. The ambition is to establish a closed-loop circular economy for the metal production industry.
Huge resource-saving potential
The fact that Molyworks also won the AM Ventures Impact Award is indicative of the huge resource-saving potential of this technology. After all, according to Molyworks, metal production accounts for 7% of the world’s energy consumption. Another major plus is that the recycling also eliminates the transport of hazardous waste.
Overall response to the first AM Ventures Impact Award, which was presented as part of the Formnext Start-up Challenge, was highly positive. Half of all entries for the Startup Challenge also applied for the Impact Award. It would appear that sustainability is something that is becoming increasingly important across the board and to start-ups in particular. »For the success of start-ups, contributing to sustainable development is no longer optional. It is a must for every company and also creates great business opportunities,« comments Arno Held, Managing Director of AM Ventures. »Sustainability also plays a key role in investor decision making, and it won’t be long before it is at the forefront of decisions for everyone.«