Metal AM has been around for many years but we have since bumped into many problems that make it hard for the tech to scale up. The techniques required to deal with metal materials are still finicky and expensive. All this is gradually changing, as advances in material sciences and better industry know-how lead to machines that are cheaper yet performant enough to appeal to the Small Medium Business (SMB) market. We recently heard there are 160 metal 3D printing startups! Wohaa! New research into bulk metallic glasses are making it easier to work with metals, lowering the barrier to entry by aiming at less pricey technologies. At the same time, companies like HP and Desktop Metal are offering metal 3D printers at very enticing prices, sub $400K, which is a big deal. New entries in the printer market are geared towards production instead of simple prototyping, signalling that the shift is close to a scaled metal printing industry.
Use of Metallic Glass Simplifies 3D Printing of Metals
Researchers at Yale, MIT, and Desktop Metal have teamed up to simplify metal 3D printing, expanding its potential for use in industrial applications and the range of objects that can be printed using the process. The research, led by Jan Schroers, Yale professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, has taken a new approach to 3D-print objects from metallic glass—a relatively new material stronger than even some of the strongest metals, but with the pliability of plastic.
Read more here.
HP’s Metal Jet 3D printer may build your next car’s innards
[…] printing giant HP announced it’s entered the market with the ambition to dramatically lower prices, courtesy of a $400,000 product called the Metal Jet.
“We’re really going to enable mass production for mainstream metals, in particular steels,” said Tim Weber, head of 3D metal printing for HP.
Read more at CNET.
Metal 3D printing startup Velo3D launches its first product
[Velo3D] is finally ready to discuss what it’s been working on, just as it announces the availability of its first product. The Sapphire system utilizes a technology the company calls Intelligent Fusion. The system is capable of 3D printing complex metal objects by sintering a bed of powder with a laser, in a process similar to standard resin-based 3D printing systems. One of the more compelling aspects of the technology is its ability to create geometrically complicated objects without the need for the support structure most require.
Read the rest at Techcruch.
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