Metal AM becomes feasible and affordable, and will change manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 93)

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

3D printed metallic glass

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

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[…] 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

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[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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Metal printing, the coming production phase (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 58)

Scalability of 3D printing in an industrial context requires a few hurdles to overcome, one of the foremost being printing speeds. Most current generation metal printers have printing times that can’t compete with common injection molding or CNC products, not to mention the time required for post-processing and more. Initially, the metal printing industry was focusing on different features to drive the growth of the sector, specifically material choice, precision and reliability. Now, companies like Seurat Technologies, Velo3D and Spee3D are poised to satisfy the demand to put 3D printers in the factory floor for good. As with FDM tech, SLS patents are expiring and opening the dam for new companies to be born. It’s only a matter of time before 3D printing is going to be competitive from a time standpoint with other traditional manufacturing technologies.

Is Velo3D secretly working to revolutionize 3D metal printing for robotics?

As you might recall, plastic 3D printing really took off back in 2009 when a key patent on deposition technology expired, opening the way for 3D printing technology to significantly drop in price. Metal 3D printing, by and large, relies on the far more expensive selective laser sintering technology, for which the patent expired in 2014. This was, as Silicon Valley expert Tekla Perry reminds the world, just before Velo3D was founded. All metal 3D printing experts, however, believe that the metal breakthrough is to come from the material side (rather than the SLS side), and Perry suggests that Velo3D could be working on that breakthrough.

Find out more about Velo3D here.

Seurat Technologies raises $13.5M to accelerate game-changing metal 3D printing technology

Seurat Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based startup, announces it has raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round. The significant investment will reportedly be put towards funding and accelerating the company’s much-hyped metal additive manufacturing technology.

Read more about it here.

SPEE3D announces global launch of ‘Supersonic Metal 3D Printing’

SPEE3D, Melbourne, Australia, has announced the company’s official global launch and availability of its industrial metal Additive Manufacturing systems. Designed for scalable, just in time production, SPEE3D is said to be the world’s first metal 3D printer leveraging supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology to deliver manufacturing grade printing at production speeds.

Rather than using heat to melt metal powders, SPEE3D’s patented technology uses supersonic deposition in which a rocket nozzle accelerates air up to three times the speed of sound to deliver manufacturing grade metal and high-density parts.

Read more about it here.

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