Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) has formed an alliance with additive manufacturing (AM) systems specialist Optomec to bring complete solutions to the metal AM industry.

The strategic partnership will enable TNSC and its subsidiary MATHESON to resell Optomec LENS 3D printers as part of a total AM solution, including gases, powder feed stock and metal heat treatment techniques.

Optomec, a global supplier of production grade AM systems based in New Mexico, US, plans to expand its LENS product sales by leveraging TNSC’s group sales network in Japan, Asia and America.

It is understood that TNSC will organise a dedicated technical team for AM technology at its gas application research and development (R&D) laboratory in Yamanashi, Japan, as part of the agreement.

The site, which is believed to be the first metal AM technology lab in Asia, will feature an Optomec LENS printer to be used for applied technical support, demonstration services and the creation of efficient AM solutions.


TNSC will draw upon its expertise in welding processes, metal heat treatment and controlled gas atmospheres to help lower costs, streamline production and eliminate defects for AM customers globally.

Industrial gases play a key role in all AM processes; from laser metal deposition and laser metal fusion to plasma-based techniques.

High pressure argon (Ar) or nitrogen (N2) is used to atomise high-alloyed metals into small, uniform spheres of powder particles to create the ‘raw’ material from which finished parts will be formed. Gases are also vital for various laser-based layering processes to ‘bind’ powered metal alloys.