Metal 3D-Printing Made Easier

3D-printing has come a long way from its birth in 1984 and from using materials such as resins, liquid plastics and polymers. Now a start-up wants to make metal 3D-printing more “practical and affordable.”

a 3D-printed metal part

Image source

 

See also: Amazing 3D-Printing Materials You Didn’t Think Possible

 

Desktop Metal, a Massachusetts-based startup, announced today the release of two new metal 3D printing systems aimed at engineering and manufacturing firms. First, in September, the company’s studio system will hit the market – enabling engineers to create small parts and to make prototypes out of metal quickly. Then in 2018, the company will release its full production system, which will enable manufacturers to quickly print metal parts. Read more at:

 

The company, Desktop Metal, has raised nearly $100 million from leading venture capital firms and the venture units of such companies as General Electric, BMW, and Alphabet. The founders include four prominent MIT professors, including the head of the school’s department of materials science and Emanuel Sachs, who filed one of the original patents on 3-D printing in 1989. Still, despite all the money and expertise, there’s no guarantee the company will succeed in its goal of reinventing how we make metal parts—and thus transforming much of manufacturing. – Read more at:

 

The Studio Printer is a $49,900 machine that prints metal layer by layer in a way similar to that of a traditional plastic 3D printer, instead of the subtractive method that’s more common with metal “printers.” Then the plastic binder is removed (by a $9,900 machine) and the part is put into a furnace ($59,900) which sinters the part into the desired density. – Read more at:

 

AM processes for metal sintering or melting (such as selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, and selective laser melting) usually went by their own individual names in the 1980s and 1990s. At the time, nearly all metal working was produced by casting, fabrication, stamping, and machining;[…] (Wikipedia)

 

Here is a brief intro to metal additive manufacturing

 

There are challenges to 3D-printing of metals: Making metal objects using 3-D printing is difficult for several reasons. Most obvious is the high temperature required for processing metals.[…], according to the above-mentioned article by MIT Technology Review.

 

 But this is also the future of the spare parts industry. So with Desktop Metal, hopefully it will succeed to “reimagine the art of metallurgy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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