3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) announced a next-generation additive metal production platform that lets manufacturers easily scale their additive manufacturing needs and that integrates seamlessly into a factory floor operation.
Based on Direct Metal Printing (DMP) precision metals technology, the DMP 8500 Factory Solution is a scalable, automated and fully integrated metal additive manufacturing approach. It features an efficient and fully integrated workflow – from powder in to part out – to produce repeatable, high-quality parts with a lower total cost of operation (TCO).
The build size to produce metal parts is up to 500 mm x 500 mm x 500 mm, (19.6 in. x 19.6 in. x 19.6 in.) and is engineered to open new applications in additive manufacturing for companies in aerospace, industrial and automotive industries.
The modular design of this system reduces required capital equipment and ensures maximum use as manufacturers scale production. The DMP 8500 Factory Solution is comprised of function-specific modules, including:
–Removable Print Modules (RPMs): These sealed modules for powder and part transport between printer, powder, and transport modules enable a continuous production workflow and maximizes powder quality throughout the process.
–Printer Modules withstand the rigors of 24/7 production cycles enabling maximum printer uptime and output.
–Powder Management Modules (PMMs) efficiently de-powder parts on build platforms, automatically recycle unused powder materials, and prepare the RPM for the next build.
–Transport Modules enable efficient movement of the RPMs between printer and powder modules – reducing production time.
“The industry is at a point where companies are looking to scale up their metal 3D printing production, bridge the chasm, and move onto the factory floor,” said Vyomesh Joshi, president and chief executive officer, 3D Systems. “The DMP 8500 Factory Solution was developed by experts with deep knowledge and experience in factory solutions and takes metal printing technology to a new level of economic efficiency for our customers.”
The DMP 8500 Factory Solution will integrate 3D Systems’ innovative 3DXpert software. This all-in-one software efficiently prepares and optimizes parts for streamlined direct metal production of functional parts.
Materials portfolio expanded
The printer is only one piece of 3D Systems’ end-to-end precision metals solution. The company also expanded its leading portfolio of ready-to-build precision alloys, formulated to deliver excellent part quality and consistent part properties, build after build.
LaserForm Maraging Steel (A), a metal that can be machined, welded and hardened, was added to the portfolio. The new material suits injection molding and tooling applications.
The company also introduced an upgrade to customers with an existing parameter set license for specific LaserForm metal materials which helps them achieve faster build times. The new Extra High Productivity Parameters for LaserForm Ti Gr5 (A) and Ti Gr23 (A) enable users to achieve high-speed metal printing with DMP quality. A high level of consistent, repeatable part quality is maintained, while build time is reduced by more than 30% resulting in lower part cost.
The new platform is planned for availability in Q4 2018.