Desktop Metal Expands Its Production System Lineup with New Printer Designed to Bridge Process Development and Full-scale Metal Parts Mass Production

The New P-1 Joins the Production System P-50 to Offer Single Pass Jetting Technology for Process Development and Serial Production Applications

  • Expanding the Production SystemTM lineup, the new P-1 bridges benchtop process development and mass production for customers looking to scale to an industrial, high-volume additive manufacturing capacity
  • The P-1 offers Desktop Metal’s patent-pending Single Pass JettingTM (SPJ) technology in an inert environment with a smaller 1-liter form factor designed to print a full layer in less than 3 seconds

  • Full P-1 builds can be printed in less than one hour and process parameters transfer directly to the P-50, making the P-1 an ideal tool to develop materials and validate new applications without taking P-50 hardware offline from mass production jobs; the P-1 is also well-suited for running serial production of small, complex parts

  • Desktop Metal has begun shipments of the P-1, with Ford Motor Company as a key initial customer

  • The P-50, the flagship Production System printer, is designed to achieve speeds up to 100 times those of legacy powder bed fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing technologies(1), remains on schedule to begin volume commercial shipments in 2021, paving the way for the mass production of end-use parts, and unlocking throughput, repeatability, and part costs competitive with conventional mass production techniques

December 17, 2020, BOSTON, MA – ​Desktop Metal​ (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, today announced the new P-1 printer has begun global shipments and joins the Production SystemTM lineup alongside the flagship P-50 printer. Designed to serve as a bridge from process development to full-scale mass production of end-use metal parts, the P-1 leverages the same patent-pending Single Pass JettingTM (SPJ) technology and core additive manufacturing benefits for companies and research institutions alike at the size and scale of serial production. The P-1 is now available for order and has already begun to ship to initial customers, including to the Ford Motor Company, which will receive its printer this month.

“We know industrial businesses around the world are eager to begin working with the Production System P-50 and benefit from the fastest, most cost-effective way to manufacture metal parts of all levels of complexity at-scale,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “Adding the P-1 to our Production System portfolio serves as a key enabler for these companies as they look to develop processes and materials on a smaller scale before ramping up to mass production volumes. Similarly, many businesses and research institutions are also interested in leveraging the economics and quality of SPJ technology for mid-volume serial production, making the P-1 an ideal fit and a great stepping-stone to broad adoption of Desktop Metal’s technology and flagship P-50 printer.”

The Ford Motor Company is among the first early adopters to purchase the new Production System P-1.

“Ford has been active in 3D printing since 1988 with acquisition of the third commercially available stereolithography (SLA) system; we are very excited to be early adopters of the P-1,” said Cynthia Flanigan, Director, Vehicle Research and Technology, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We expect that this new system will serve as an important tool in the development of our future advanced process and alloy implementation, enabling our researchers to investigate additional production opportunities of metal binder jetting at Ford Motor Company. Our early collaboration with Desktop Metal highlighted the need for a lab scale system that is aligned with the functionality of the production scale system so we can further develop expertise around this process.”

 

A Shared SPJ Technology Architecture Enables Direct Process Transfers Between the P-1 and P-50

Created by leading inventors of binder jetting and single-pass inkjet technology, the Production System P-50 is an industrial manufacturing solution designed to achieve speeds up to 100 times those of legacy PBF additive manufacturing technologies(1), enabling production quantities of up to millions of parts per year at costs competitive with conventional mass production techniques.

The P-1 offers a new form factor to bridge the gap between benchtop process development and mass production, leveraging the same patent-pending SPJ technology and print carriage design as on the P-50 but with enhanced process flexibility. Also similar to the P-50, the P-1 features a state-of-the-art print bar with native 1200 dpi, advanced printhead technology that supports a wide variety of binders, and an inert processing environment to support both non-reactive and reactive materials, a key benefit for businesses and research institutions looking to experiment with a variety of materials. As a result, materials research and new application development conducted on the P-1 can be transferred directly onto the P-50 to scale to mass production, without the need to take this more industrial manufacturing solution offline for R&D activities, enabling efficient process development and new product introductions.

“For many businesses like Ford, the P-1 will serve as a learning lab for processes as they look to scale up to full production,” said Fulop. “Research institutions are also eager to adopt the Production System P-1 to experiment, validate materials, and test a variety of use cases for metal binder jetting with a smaller build box that offers all of the benefits of SPJ technology, including speed, quality, and reliability.

The P-1 Offers Cost-Effective, Serial Metal Parts Production for Small & Complex Parts

SPJ technology on the P-1 is designed to print each layer in less than three seconds, including powder deposition, powder compaction, anti-ballistics, binder deposition, and printhead cleaning. At this maximum build rate, the P-1 can achieve production throughputs 10 times higher than those of legacy PBF systems(1) and fast enough to complete a full build in less than one hour. The P-1’s open material platform and inert process environment allow customers to use low-cost, third-party metal injection molding powders across a variety of materials, making the P-1 suitable for cost-effective serial production of small and complex parts in addition to smaller scale process development activities. Powder reclaimed during the printing and depowdering process can be recycled for future use, driving further cost efficiencies and resulting in a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process. In addition, the tooling-free manufacturing process on the P-1 facilitates quick turnovers to new jobs along with the ability to print many complex geometries simultaneously with no print supports required. 

P-1 customers will also gain access to Desktop Metal’s Fabricate® manufacturing build preparation software, as well as to the Company’s newly-released Live Sinter™ application, which dynamically simulates the sintering process and automatically generates print-ready geometries that compensate for the shrinkage and distortion that take place during sintering, minimizing process trial and error while improving accuracy.

The flagship Production System printer, the P-50, remains on schedule to begin volume commercial shipments in 2021, paving the way for the mass production of end-use parts, and unlocking throughput, repeatability, and competitive part costs. For more information on the P-1, the P-50, and Production System technology, visit https://www.desktopmetal.com/products/production.

Please do read the original Press Release by Desktop Metal here.

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Desktop Metal is now officially traded on the NYSE stock market

Article by Davide Sher, December 10, 2020.

As of today, December 10th, TRINE ACQUISITION CORP is to be negotiated on the NYSE under the Desktop Metal name, changing ticker from TRNE to DM and ISIN US89628U1088 to US25058X1054. That’s the note I got in my stock portfolio today. No huge surprise there. It was in the works and there probably is no better time.

Desktop Metal is betting (like all other serious contenders in the AM space – Stratasys just spent $100 million on this) that, within the next 5 years, AM will become a real, effective and cost-efficient production method. If this happens then the company will be able to generate $1 billion in yearly revenues (as it expects), from below $30 million today, and – if that happens (stressing the “if”) – then it will definitely be worth $5 billion, as its early private investors expect.

These are some of the key opportunity and threat elements relative to this bet:

Supporting factors:

  • AM is definitely going to be a widespread mass/serial production method eventually. Eventually could mean in 5 years or in 15. It depends on when the technology will be ready.
  • When the transition to digital production happens it will happen “overnight”. AM has been around for 30+ years as a prototyping method. Only for the past 5 years, have most AM companies been focusing on achieving production capabilities.

  • Ric Fulop is good at making these kinds of bets (Markforged, Proto Labs, Onshape).
  • Desktop Metal is spearheading the metal AM production business. There are other companies with metal binder jetting technology and more experience than Desktop Metal. However, Desktop Metal has been set on achieving production from the very start.

Risk factors:

  • No pure player AM company in history has ever generated 1 billion in revenues. Some have come close. Some eventually will.
  • Desktop Metal has competitors that are much larger than they are, including HP and GE.

  • In terms of the real economy, the success of this operation depends on the efficiency and rate of adoption of the recently released Shop system (we still need to fully understand if the technology really works on a wide range of applications and more importantly if companies that do not already use AM can really learn rapidly to implement it).

  • This is Fulop’s biggest and riskiest bet. It’s kind of like betting on Tesla stocks before Elon Musk even completed Tesla’s first production factory. Or betting on Apple before Steve Jobs even left (and came back from Pixar). It could go either way.

Desktop Metal announced it was going public last August by entering a definitive business combination agreement with Trine Acquisition Corp. and HPS Investment Partners. “We are at a major inflection point in the adoption of additive manufacturing, and Desktop Metal is leading the way in this transformation,” said at the time Ric Fulop, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Desktop Metal. “Our solutions are designed for both massive throughput and ease of use, enabling organizations of all sizes to make parts faster, more cost-effectively, and with higher levels of complexity and sustainability than ever before. We are energized to make our debut as a publicly-traded company and begin our partnership with Trine, which will provide the resources to accelerate our go-to-market efforts and enhance our relentless efforts in R&D.”

Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended for trading or investing purposes. The author of this article owns TRNE/DM stocks.

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Desktop Metal Expands Its Metal 3D Printing Materials Library With Global Launch Of Pure Copper For The Studio System

Now Commercially Available to Studio System Customers Worldwide, Copper Enables High-Performance, Highly Optimized Parts for Oil & Gas, Auto and Consumer Products Industries

December 7, 2020 BURLINGTON, MA – ​Desktop Metal​, a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, today announced the launch of copper for the Studio SystemTM, an office-friendly metal 3D printing system for low volume production. With its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, copper is considered an ideal material for transferring heat or electricity and is used in virtually every electronic device made, as well as in many of the heat exchangers used across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, automotive, and consumer products.

A key benefit for Desktop Metal customers is that the copper material used with the Studio System is pure copper. Unlike laser-based processes, which often print chromium zirconium copper, the Studio System’s proprietary Bound Metal DepositionTM process is able to print pure copper, unlocking the full benefits of the material.

“Known for its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, copper is a highly desired material for a variety of industries and applications, such as heat exchangers and electrical components for heavy industries to consumer products,” said Jonah Myerberg, CTO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “Whether for heat sinks, electrical motor and power grid components, or resistance welding electrodes, 3D printed copper on the Studio System is an ideal choice for manufacturing parts featuring complex geometries.”

Early customer applications demonstrating the material’s benefits include:

Manufacturing: Electrode Holder

Electrode holders are used to hold electrodes in position during resistive nut welding. Printed in copper, the part features internal conformal cooling channels to improve temperature regulation. Electrodes are consumable and need to be replaced quickly and affordably when they wear out to keep the manufacturing line up and running. Using copper in combination with conformal cooling channels helps to pull heat off the electrode and the electrode holder to better regulate the temperature, leading to a better weld and a longer part lifetime.

Automotive: Motor Heat Sink

Heat exchangers are designed to help dissipate heat from an electric motor while the motor operates, keeping the motor at a more ideal operating temperature. The Studio System allows for the copper heat exchanger to conform to the motor shape, distributing heat more efficiently from the motor to the surrounding environment. The tall, thin fins in this motor heat sink are easily customized using 3D printing on the Studio System, whereas they are more challenging to manufacture via machining, due to chattering as the fins are cut.

Chemical Processing: Helical Heat Exchanger

Helical heat exchangers are used to cool a hot gas as it flows through a pipe. The Studio System allows for the heat exchanger to be printed with an internal helical channel that enables cooling fluid to flow through it. The complex geometry of that channel can only be made with additive manufacturing.

Electric Power Distribution: Bus Bar

Bus bars are used for local high current power distribution. As power is being transferred, the bus bar begins to get hot, internal cooling channels help to regulate the temperature, and copper’s excellent thermal conductivity value ensures that heat is efficiently transferred from the bus bar to the coolant. The bus bar’s design features complex cooling channels running through its core. Using the Studio System, the bus bar can easily be printed as a single copper part complete with internal cooling features. Using traditional methods, the channels would require a multi-part assembly to create the final part.

Copper is the latest addition to the Studio System materials library that also includes 4140 chromoly steel, H13 tool steel, 316L, and 17-4 PH stainless steels. In addition to materials that are already available, Desktop Metal’s team of materials scientists are continuously working to develop new materials and processes to make 3D printing accessible to even broader industries and applications.

Studio System for Producing Complex Parts In-house

The metallurgy behind the Studio System is built upon the materials science and established powder supply chain of the metal injection molding (MIM) industry. When combined with Desktop Metal’s in-house expertise in material processing, binder compounds, and metal 3D printing, the results are high-quality metal parts with affordable material costs.

Key Studio System benefits include:

  • High-quality parts. Users can easily 3D print difficult-to-machine parts with up to 98 percent density and featuring complex geometry-like undercuts and internal channels. Fabricate® software automates complicated metallurgical processes to produce high-quality parts with densities and feature accuracy similar to casting.
  • Easy to use. The Studio System is built to make 3D printing metal parts as easy as uploading a design to Fabricate software and pressing print with no guesswork or manual calculations required. Material changeovers are quick and easy, enabled by a unique, hot-swappable material cartridge design.

  • Designed for the office. The Studio System is designed to seamlessly integrate 3D printing into design and engineering workflows. By eliminating lasers and loose metal powders, the system easily assimilates into a team’s work environment with no third-party equipment and minimal facilities investment required.

For more information on the Desktop Metal materials portfolio for the Studio System, visit www.desktopmetal.com/materials.

The availability of copper for the Studio System is another announcement that follows Desktop Metal’s recent signing of a definitive business combination agreement with Trine Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: TRNE), to accelerate its go-to-market efforts and further drive its relentless efforts in advanced R&D.

Please do read the original Press Release by Desktop Metal here.

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Desktop Metal begins global shipments of Shop System for midvolume Metal 3D printing manufacturing

Desktop Metal’s Binder Jetting System, Designed to Enable Affordable, Batch

Production of High-Quality Metal Parts, Is Now Being Installed

Throughout North America, EMEA and APAC

November 19, 2020 BOSTON, MA – Desktop Metal, a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, today announced the Shop System™, the world’s first metal binder jetting system designed for machine shops, is being manufactured in volume and shipped to customers around the world. With installations underway throughout North America, EMEA and APAC, manufacturers such as Jade Creaction LDA in Portugal, Wall Colmonoy Limited in the UK, Cosmind in Italy, Alpha Precision Group in the USA, E.A.C. in France, and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) in Hong Kong, are leveraging high-quality binder jetting technology to print enduse metal parts in volume and at part costs unattainable with legacy additive
manufacturing processes.

First unveiled last November at the 2019 Formnext trade conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the Shop System is designed to bring metal additive manufacturing to machine and job shops with an affordable, turnkey solution that achieves exceptional surface finish parts with rich feature detail at speeds up to 10 times those of legacy powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. With the Shop System, users can now print end-use metal parts for use in a variety of industries spanning from
automotive and oil & gas to consumer products and electronics.

“The Shop System offers the most cost-effective, highest resolution mid-volume production solutions in the industry. Its high-speed, single-pass print engine introduces high-quality binder jetting to an entirely new market of machine shops, casting
foundries, and powder metal component suppliers,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and cofounder of Desktop Metal. “With the Shop System, engineers and plant operators can now eliminate many of the constraints previously imposed by traditional manufacturing methods, like CNC machining, and achieve affordable, reliable, and flexible batch production of complex parts.”

Many early adopters of the technology are already realizing the potential for expanding their manufacturing efforts.

Jade Creaction LDA is a leading European company specializing in luxury leather goods, jewelry and watches for several French, Italian and American luxury brands. “Our luxury fashion clients are renowned global brands in the industry, and the Shop System will allow us to quickly respond to their needs with faster production solutions,” said Christophe Pereira, CEO of Jade. “3D printing allows us freedom from multi-stage manufacturing tooling combined with technology innovation that gives our clients’ designers unlimited creative power.”


AFPMA de l’Ain of France is the training center of the UIMM (French metallurgical industries association) of Ain French region, with the mission to provide skills that meet the needs of industrial companies in the Ain region, through initial and continuous training. “AFPMA has invested in metal additive manufacturing technologies from Desktop Metal in order to deliver the best technical training in AM,” said Patrice Mayoral, AFPMA CEO. “The Shop System and the Studio System are two complementary machines that will allow us to train operators and realize demonstrators to show trainees, thanks to real applications, the possibilities of each machine and technology to understand the impact of the design and process parameters on the global value chain. Being among the first adopters allows us to be part of European and French national working groups in order to develop qualification and certification for additive manufacturing and validate the training processes to be aligned with the industry
needs.”


E.A.C., based in France, started its development in 2002 with Swimwear and Lingerie markets. The company is now more focused on the Luxury markets such as leather, cosmetics, packaging, wines & spirits, and jewelry with worldwide clientele. “By enabling mass production of amazingly intricate geometries, metal binder jetting is about to transform the luxury goods space,” said Patrick Chouvet, Manager E.A.C. “As a pioneer in the use of additive manufacturing in luxury goods for some of the world’s most valuable and iconic brands, E.A.C. has been exploring metal Binder Jetting technology over the past four years. After a comprehensive review and benchmarking of the competitive landscape, we chose the Desktop Metal Shop System for its unparalleled print quality, throughput, and affordability.”


Cosmind, based in Italy, is a technologically-advanced company with experience and know-how in the fields of sheet metal processing, metallic carpentry, high precision mechanical processing, sheet metal forming and assembly. “Cosmind is highly focused on technological innovations. Throughout the years, we have constantly introduced the latest production technologies,” said Carmine Donisi, CEO of Cosmind. “We strongly believe that Blinder Jetting 3D printing technology is the natural evolution of the manufacturing sector. In Desktop Metal, we have found all the characteristics of quality and innovation that will certainly allow us to diversify our production.”


Alpha Precision Group, (APG) based in Pennsylvania, is a leading provider of engineered powder metal, metal injection molding (MIM), and machined components with a primary focus on providing products that are consistent with reducing emissions, improving fuel economy, and enhancing engine performance. “APG is extremely excited about the recent purchase of the Shop System because we know that this technology is going to change the way that engineers think, not just from a manufacturing perspective but from a limitless design perspective,” said Phillip McDonald, Advanced Manufacturing Engineer at APG. “This technology enables our customers to iterate designs extremely quickly and prototype products with no tooling costs, all with incredibly short lead times. The future is here.”


Impac Systems Engineering (ISE), a Texas-based professional engineering services firm, has utilized technology, process and people to solve customer engineering challenges. ISE suite of solutions spans from idea, to design, to simulation, to prototyping, fabrication, assembly and production. “For our customers, Impac is a trusted partner, providing a broad suite of engineering and manufacturing solutions across the entire product life cycle,” said Scot Andrews, President of Impac Systems Engineering. “Our 3D printing services play a key role in helping our customers get to market quicker, with better products. With the Shop System, we can scale to hundreds of near-net-shape parts daily — with dramatically reduced labor costs and expanded geometric flexibility relative to traditional methods such as machining and casting.”


VTT Technical Research Center, based in Finland, is a visionary research, development and innovation organization that drives sustainable growth and tackles the biggest global challenges of our time, turning them into opportunities for business growth. “We are excited to work with this new metal Binder Jetting technology that has matured from lab to production,” said Pasi Puukko, Research Team Leader, Advanced Manufacturing at VTT. “We’ll first focus on applications benefitting from this technology, but on the longer run, we are certainly looking also for new material solutions, widening the range of metal AM materials and therefore, better serving our customers’ needs.”


CETIM, the Technical Centre for Mechanical Engineering Industry, is the leading French leader in the fields of mechanical engineering innovation and R&D, and one of the French leaders on metal additive manufacturing development. “3D printing allows CETIM to design parts with new properties and functionalization like thermal behavior, lightening, customization, electrical performances or tribology optimization,” said Pierre Chalandon, Chief Operations Officer for materials, processes and industrialization at CETIM. “Metal binder jetting technology is opening new opportunities — no tooling process, increasing production capacities, decreasing the global cost, and allowing new materials. Desktop Metal technologies, including the new Shop System, completes our additive manufacturing machines park. We chose to be one the first Shop System adopters, because we are convinced it is now possible for metal binder jetting to decrease the global cost, increase the production rate, increase the quality and definition and accuracy, develop new materials and simulate the process — especially sintering — to control the capability and the quality.”

Delivering High-quality Binder Jetting to the Machine Shop Market

The Shop System offers reliable production of serial batches of complex, end-use metal parts in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional manufacturing and comparably priced AM technologies. Featuring the highest resolution and most advanced print engine in the binder jetting market, the Shop System is a complete end-to-end solution that includes a single pass, binder jetting printer; a drying oven for hardening green parts prior to depowdering; a powder station for depowdering parts with built-in powder recycling; Desktop Metal’s furnace designed for accessible, industrial-strength sintering; and integrated powder handling accessories and workflow. This turnkey solution together seamlessly integrates with existing shop operations.

Key Shop System benefits include:

– Easy to use and operate. Designed with the modern machine shop in mind, the Shop System produces parts with excellent surface finish and resolution at the push of a button through its easy-to-use software interface. It features engineered powders and processing parameters optimized for use with the system to deliver exceptional quality and ensure repeatability.
– High productivity. Featuring a high-speed, single pass print carriage, the Shop System produces high-quality, complex metal parts up to 10 times the speed and at a fraction of the cost of legacy PBF additive manufacturing technologies, amplifying customers’ existing output with up to hundreds of end-use metal parts per day. Speeds up to 800 cc/hour at 75-micron layer thickness, enables batches of tens or hundreds of complex printed parts in as little as five hours.
– Superior print quality. Customers can print dense, complex parts with incredibly fine feature detail and surface finishes as low as four-micron roughness average (Ra) out of the furnace due to the Shop System’s highresolution printhead – made possible through droplet sizes as small as 1.2pL, with drop multiplexing up to 6pL.
– Rich feature detail with exceptional surface finish. Achieved through an advanced single pass printhead with 1600 native DPI, the Shop System delivers 400% higher resolution than legacy binder jetting systems. Reliable print quality is supported by the printhead’s 5x nozzle redundancy — 25 percent higher redundancy than comparable binder jetting systems.

Binder Jetting Technology Ushers in Additive Manufacturing 2.0

As a solution for mid-volume parts production through AM, the Shop System is a critical element of the Additive Manufacturing 2.0 revolution that is reshaping the future of manufacturing. As the emergence of AM 2.0 enables throughput, repeatability, and part costs that can compete with conventional manufacturing processes, the additive manufacturing sector is expected to surge from $12 billion in 2019 to an estimated value of $146 billion by the end of the decade1.

“Many of the benefits that have long been touted for 3D printing – mass customization, complex geometries, lightweighting, assembly consolidation, tool-free manufacturing, digital inventories, and more – all come bundled as part of AM 2.0,” said Fulop. “Taken together, this suite of benefits represents a new approach to the way metal parts are being designed, prototyped and now, with the Shop System, manufactured.”

Shop System Availability

With variable build box configurations ranging from 4L, 8L, 12L, and 16L, the Shop System is designed to scale throughput to each shop’s needs. In addition with the Shop System’s end-to-end hardware solution, customers will gain access to Desktop Metal’s Fabricate MFG™ build preparation software, as well as to the Company’s newly-released Live Sinter™ application, a sintering process simulation software that corrects for shrinkage and distortion of binder jet 3D printed parts during sintering, minimizing process trial and error while improving accuracy. For more information on the Shop System, visit

https://www.desktopmetal.com/products/shop

The general availability of the Shop System is another major announcement that follows Desktop Metal’s recent signing of a definitive business combination agreement with Trine Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: TRNE), to accelerate its go-to-market efforts and further drive its relentless efforts in advanced R&D.

 

About Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with end-to-end 3D printing solutions. Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, the company is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost, and quality to make 3D printing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. Desktop Metal was selected as one of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum; named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies; and recognized among the most important innovations in engineering in Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New.” For more information, visit www.desktopmetal.com.

Press Contacts

Desktop Metal, Inc.
Lynda McKinney, 978-224-1282
Lyndamckinney@desktopmetal.com
(1) Based on Wohlers Report 2020, Wohlers Associates

Please do read the original Press release here, on Desktop Metal’s official website.

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Leveraging DfAM for Enhanced FDM Post-Printing Efficiencies with PostProcess Technologies

CONTENTS

I. Introduction to Design for Additive Manufacturing

II. FDM Background

III. DfAM Strategies

IV. Results

V. Conclusions

I. INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a powerful technology that lends itself to producing organic geometries, and building parts in short timeframes. Additive technologies are capable of printing shapes that cannot be created by any other means. One of the most salient factors in successfully building these unique designs is the utilization of soluble support material.

As is well-known by anyone who has worked with additive technology, 3D-printed end use parts and prototypes do not come off of the printer “customer-ready.” Virtually every printed part, regardless of print technology, requires some sort of post-printing, whether that be support removal, resin removal, surface finish, or all the above.

As the additive production process has been classically categorized into three separate silos; design, build/print, and post-print, the final step is all too often an afterthought. Rather than considering the additive process a linear, sequential one, PostProcess Technologies embraces the ideology that efficiencies and end part results can be dramatically improved when all of the steps are conceptualized as interdependent.This integrated approach is an advanced ideology that will be necessary to scale additive’s impact, and eventually usher in Industry 4.0.

This paper will identify the ways in which designing for additive manufacturing (DfAM) can affect efficiencies, cost, and support material usage in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing. Print orientation, support settings within the slicing software, and part design are all aspects which can be leveraged to streamline additive workflows, and facilitate faster, more cost-effective post-printing.

It should be noted that while some of these DfAM for FDM techniques can be applied to other print technologies, this is not the case universally (e.g. self-supporting angles are also useful in DfAM for stereolithography (SLA), but not selective laser sintering (SLS) or PolyJet).

As a rule of thumb, DfAM will have a greater effect in circumstances where there is a higher level of design freedom. While DfAM will have a minimal impact on rapid prototyping or tooling applications (situations with the lowest allowance for design freedom) manufacturing aides and end-use production parts allow for more unique designs, thus making DfAM more significant. The more design principles that are considered upfront, the less time must be later allotted to redesign, or the removal of unnecessary support structures later in the process.

 

II. FDM BACKGROUND

To comprehend the DfAM techniques that will streamline an FDM workflow, it is vital to comprehend the advantages and limitations of the print technology, and why it is one of the most popular 3D printing technologies available today. The process starts with a thermoplastic filament wound in spools. This filament could be ABS, Polycarbonate, or Ultem™*, for example (see the image below for a complete list of Stratasys thermoplastic materials available for use with the brand’s FDM printers). Strength requirements, the temperature that the part will be exposed to, its performance expectations, and the sort of chemical resistance that it requires are all factors that may impact material selection.

The filament is extruded through a heater block, then a nozzle, and computer-controlled motion is used to deposit the melted thermoplastic. As the deposited plastic cools, the z-stage build platform is lowered to create the 3D part. While this layer-by-layer deposition process is ideal for parts with low heights, FDM printers can face challenges printing complex geometries with tall and thin walls. Virtually anywhere there is an overhang on an FDM part, support material will likely be required to prevent build failure, leading to high support material usage. Consequently, FDM processes involve tedious support removal steps, which traditionally involve dissolving support material by using detergents or breaking the supports away manually, depending on the support material used.

As reported by the PostProcess Technologies’ 2020 Annual Additive Post-Printing Trends Report, material extrusion printing methods (e.g. FFF, FDM, MEM) are utilized by 71% of additive manufacturing users, making them the most popular print technology. The top challenge of material extrusion technology was found to be the length of time to finish parts, while the runner-up answer was damaged parts, both issues that DfAM can help mitigate. That being said, additional research has found that 23% of the average part cost for polymer 3D printing is attributed to the post-printing step alone (Source: 2019 Wohler’s Report). Finally, keeping support material to a minimum is ideal in lowering the build time required for a part, the material cost of a part, as well as the time and resources which must be allocated to the post-printing step.

III. DFAM STRATEGIES

Orientation
Depending on the geometry of your part, orientation may play a paramount role in DfAM. Usually a sole aspect like part strength, support structures, print speed, or surface quality must be prioritized to determine the best orientation of the part. Strength is most often the driving factor for orientations, though priorities may change depending on print materials used, or time restraints. Considerations regarding part orientation should be explored during the design phase to proactively ensure minimal support material requirements, as well as printing and post-printing speeds.

Figure 1 shows a L-bracket printed on its end and Figure 2 shows the same L-bracket printed flat on its side. Utilizing GrabCAD Print software, the green represents the model material of the part and the orange represents the support material required to print the part in that orientation. This change in build orientation accounted for a 58% reduction in build time, and a 91% reduction in support material usage, equating to cost, material, and time savings.

FIGURE 1: End Orientation
FIGURE 2: Side Orientation

Part Design
Knowing the advantages (and limitations) of a print technology is vital in designing the most efficient, structurally-sound part possible.

Self-Supporting Angles

FDM is one of the only technologies that leverages self-supporting angles. Typically, as long as there is at least a 45° overhang to the build platform, support materials will not be needed. This strategy can also come into play by implementing chamfers and/or fillets, for example see Figures 3 and 4. Also by using the SMART support settings within GrabCAD Print or Insight on Stratasys printers, the software will automatically utilize self-supporting angles when developing support structures, which will help to reduce the amount of support material needed in comparison to other support styles. The actual self supporting angle value will vary based on the printed model material and the slice height that the printer is set at. For example, on a Stratasys Fortus 450mc, loaded with ASA material and printing at a slice height of 0.010” / 0.254 mm will have a self-supporting angle of 43°, whereas Nylon 12CF is 50°.

FIGURE 3: Overhanging Geometry Example
FIGURE 4: Self Supporting Geometry Example

Implementing Strategic Holes
Designing vertical, non-critical holes as diamond or teardrop-shaped instead of round will reduce the amount of support material required (see bearing block image below). Critical diameter holes should be printed in the XY plane if possible. If the vertical holes require tighter accuracy, they may be drilled out in a post-printing step. When using an automated support removal system it is best practice to reduce the amount of blind holes and cavities. Rather, when possible implement through holes and open cavities, allowing the support removal detergent to flow through those areas more freely, and remove support material faster.

Material Usage
In certain circumstances, utilizing model material as support material can decrease build time, specifically by reducing wait time caused by the printer switching between model and support material. However, this time reduction is only realized if the entire layer’s support material can be changed to model. Whenever you slice a part in GrabCAD Print or generate support material in Insight, the software automatically generates support material and will interface directly with the model material, giving it a good foundation to build model material on. When changing the support material to model material, you will want to leave the three or four support material interface layers, or the layers below where the model material starts, as support material. Otherwise, the model support may end up fused to the finished part,
subsequently causing damage to your overall part.


Surface Finishing
Orientation can also impact the surface finish of a part. Exterior contour toolpaths will result in a better surface finish than exposed raster toolpaths, as rasters are more likely to cause air gaps, which can prove difficult to remove. While flat orientations may print faster, particularly with FDM, horizontal orientations with exterior contour paths will take significantly less time to post-print (see example in image below). FDM parts will also always have a “seam”, which is the start/stop point of each build layer. Utilizing the slicing software to determine where a seam should be placed can help reduce surface finishing time on specific part areas.

IV. RESULTS

As a result of implementing the various DfAM techniques that this white paper covers, small-scale FDM parts were able to achieve significant build time and material savings, thus streamlining the entire additive process. Below is a step-by-step explanation of what part features were changed in the CAD modeling software, and what settings were changed in GrabCAD Print to achieve the desired results, reducing build time and support material usage.

Sensor Bracket Part

Part features added:
– Interior and exterior fillets added to increase the strength of the bracket.

GrabCAD Print Settings:
– Orientate the part with the “L” profile in the XY plane of the build platform (see picture below).
Reduce the amount of support material required by selecting “Do not grow supports” in the Support Settings.

Bearing Block Part

Part features added:
– Modified the mounting holes from round to diamond shaped, making the geometry self-supporting.

GrabCAD Print Settings:
-Orientate the part with the diameter of the large vertical hole in the XY plane of the build platform (see picture below).
– To place the layer seams on the back of the part (a noncritical surface) select the surfaces where you don’t want the seam placed (critical surfaces), and select “Avoid Seams” in the Model Setting section. This will help to reduce surface finishing time on critical surfaces. This feature only works for parasolid part files that are imported into GrabCAD Print, and will not work with STL files.

Coupling Part

Part features added:
Changed the angle of the coupling from 35° to 45° to make the geometry self-supporting.
Added a fillet between the base of the part and the vertical cylinder to help strengthen that area.
Added a chamber under the top tabs to make the geometry self-supporting.

GrabCAD Print Settings:
Orientate the part with the round base in the XY plane, as shown below.

Before and After Printing Results
The below picture illustrates the reduction in build time and support material used by making the small design changes and printer setting changes listed above.

Sensor Bracket

Bearing Block

Coupling

Before
Build Time: 2:51
Model: 3.008
Support: 0.658

After
Build Time: 2:25
Model: 3.107
Support: 0.321

Before
Build Time: 5:05
Model: 7.544
Support: 0.742

After
Build Time: 4:18
Model: 7.709
Support: 0.219

Before
Build Time: 4:16
Model: 3.694
Support: 2.092

After
Build Time: 2:47
Model: 3.833
Support: 0.312

Difference
Build Time: -26 minutes
Model: +.01 in³ / +0.25 mm³
Support: -0.34 in³ / -8.64 mm³

Difference
Build Time: -47 minutes
Model: +0.17 in³ / +4.32 mm³
Support: -0.52 in³ / 13.21 mm³

Difference
Build Time: -89 minutes
Model: +0.14 in³ / +3.56 mm³
Support: -1.78 in³ / 45.21 mm³

V. Conclusions

  • To utilize additive to the best of its ability, it is essential to recognize that the design, build, and post-print steps are heavily integrated. It is most strategic to consider support removal and surface finishing during the design phase.
  • When designing an FDM part for optimized post-printing, factoring in material selection, part orientation, self-supporting angles, contour toolpaths, as well as chamfers and fillets as needed, can contribute to time, cost, and materials savings.
  • Automated post-printing solutions from PostProcess Technologies can further enable efficiencies within additive workflows, and cut down on overall time and money spent on the AM process. The proprietary Volumetric Velocity Dispersion technology for soluble support and Suspended Rotational Force for surface finishing both leverage various chemical and mechanical energy sources for optimal post-printing for FDM.

POSTPROCESS TECHNOLOGIES INC.
2495 Main Street, Suite 615
Buffalo NY 14214, USA
+1.866.430.5354


POSTPROCESS TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL
Les Aqueducs B3, 535 Route des Lucioles
06560 Sophia Antipolis, France
+33 (0)4 22 32 68 13

Please visit PostProcess Technologies for more info and white papers.

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Mimaki Illuminates 3D Printing Market with New Compact Full-Colour UV Inkjet 3D Printer

  • The new Mimaki 3DUJ-2207 3D Inkjet Printer boasts full-colour high definition production in a sleek, compact design, with over 10 million colours

  • The machine delivers an affordable, scalable solution to drive accessibility to 3D printing and deliver its cutting-edge technologies to a host of new customers

Mimaki Europe, in conjunction with Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces the launch of its new compact, full-colour 3DUJ-2207 UV Inkjet 3D Printer. Previously the first to bring over 10 million colours to the 3D printing market with its larger-scale industrial counterpart, the 3DUJ-553, Mimaki now combines the same impressive colour range and renowned build quality in a compact, affordable solution. With this latest offering, Mimaki aims to extend the reach and accessibility of its cutting-edge 3D printing technologies to an entirely new segment of customers.

The innovative 3D printing solution represents a huge step forward for detailing and post-processing, with the unique combination of its full-colour capabilities and water-soluble support materials enabling super-fine details to be printed in vibrant colour, and then beautifully preserved without the substantial breakage risks usually associated with manual cleaning, painting and finishing. With additional features such as Mimaki’s trademark clear resin, which can be utilised alone or mixed with colours to achieve varying levels of transparency, the new 3DUJ-2207 3D printer presents a robust, advanced 3D printing solution with an affordable price tag – all within a machine sufficiently compact to fit in an office elevator.

“Here at Mimaki, we do not stop at developing disruptive technologies – we make it our business to look even further beyond this, continually striving to find ways in which we can then accelerate the adoption of these technologies and drive the wider industry forward,” comments Danna Drion, Senior Marketing Manager at Mimaki Europe. “Our new 3DUJ-2207 3D Printer is a prime example of this. We had already raised the bar in 3D printing by delivering the world’s first 3D printer with over 10 million colours – but now, with the introduction of our new 3DUJ-2207 3D Printer, we are bringing these 10 million colours to a host of new customers, which in turn means new applications and an even quicker uptake of 3D printing technologies as a whole.”

Set to be commercially available worldwide from January 2021, the 3DUJ-2207 has been designed with functionality at its core, with the compact design and reduced 203 x 203 x 76mm build space just two of many key features which demonstrate its unique versatility and make it ideally suited for office environments. The 3D printer’s quiet performance and optional deodoriser minimise some of the primary disruptions usually associated with 3D printing technologies, ensuring maximum workability in busy workspaces.

Utilising UV-curing inkjet technology, the expansive high-definition colour expression made possible with the Mimaki 3DUJ-2207 3D Printer is around twice that of powder bed manufacturing methods. This provides new possibilities for prototyping and enables the accurate reproduction of subtle colour differences which are critical for many industrial design applications such as medical and architectural modelling. Additional applications include small-scale models for design offices and educational settings, as well as collectible figures.

Drion concludes, “By combining our technological expertise with a wealth of industry experience and market insight, we have been able to create an innovative, inspired solution that merges functionality, affordability and design in a way that really will be game-changing for a lot of creators. This launch will deliver a world of new possibilities to designers and product developers, for many of whom the idea of high-definition full-colour 3D printing might previously have been out of reach, and that is something we are extremely proud of.”

The Mimaki 3DUJ-2207 3D Printer will be exhibited online at Formnext Connect and as part of Mimaki’s latest virtual event, the Mimaki 3D Experience, from 10th November to 16th December. Follow Mimaki’s social media channels for more information.

Please do read the original press release here or visit MimakiEurope.com to learn more.

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Envisiontec Speed and Castability: What Factors Affect Final Casting Results?

Over the past few years, 3D printing has been transforming the jewelry industry. The introduction of 3D printers gives jewelers the capability to produce castable, high detailed parts in a fraction of time. But not all 3D printers are created equal, and casting results may vary widely, leaving some custom jewelers and manufacturers frustrated.

Additive manufacturing cuts production time dramatically when compared to traditional hand-carving methods and lately there has been a race for developing faster 3D printers for jewelers to produce rings in a matter of minutes and not hours. But does build speed really matter in 3D printing?  Should you have to sacrifice quality to achieve it?

With a long standing history of 3D printing innovation, EnvisionTEC focuses on real solutions to real application problems. The company introduced its patented Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (cDLM) technology so that jewelry professionals wouldn’t have to choose between speed and quality.

DLP technology, which was first developed and patented by EnvisionTEC, has been the gold standard for 3D printing jewelry.  A standard DLP 3D printer builds parts in layers, one layer at a time. Each layer must be exposed to the light source and the time of exposure is defined by layer thickness and material reactivity. Once a layer has been exposed, and the specified layer is formed, a layer separation procedure is performed to peel the layer from the bottom of the material tray and replenish fresh resin to cure the next layer.

Over the years, EnvisionTEC has perfected a number of patented methods of minimizing the effects of this peeling separation, with highly castable options available to the jewelry industry that are widely used from custom designers to large manufacturers.  But there are limits to the amount of wax that can be used with DLP 3D printing.

When using wax-based materials, the exposure times are typically three to four times that of regular plastic acrylic polymers. The higher the material castability (i.e. wax content), the slower the exposure time. A number of other 3D printer manufacturers claim that they can produce rings in minutes using a standard layer peeling process. However, their resins contain much more plastic than wax, resulting in less than optimal casts with significant surface roughness and porosity.

EnvisionTEC’s cDLM technology works by adding an air gap (similar to the air gap below the puck on an air hockey table surface) between the part being built and the bottom of the material tray.  By building a floating layer, the separation forces are completely eliminated – so there is no peeling at all.  With no separation forces, cDLM 3D printers are able to print resins with up to a 90% wax fill (Easy Cast 2.0), allowing for patterns that are as easy to cast as any traditional hand-carved or injection molded wax pattern.

On top of all of this, the cDLM process is fast, allowing jewelers unprecedented manufacturing turnaround times. Traditionally, 3D printing castable materials would take hours to build. However with the cDLM technology, bridal and fashion rings can be designed, grown, and ready for investment casting the same day, which is a huge advantage for the jewelry market.

If you need a solution for 3D printing premium quality wax patterns for jewelry quickly that can also be easily casted, view EnvisionTEC’s cDLM technology. For more information visit:  EnvisionTEC Castables.

IT’S SUPER-FAST — CONTINUOUS DIGITAL LIGHT MANUFACTURING

  • Parts built as the platform moves continuously without separation, which leads to a drastic reduction in the building time as well as allowing for highly wax-filled resins to be used.
  • A drastic reduction in separation, forces delivery of highly accurate parts, with detailed feature resolution.
  • Better castability, as the wax based resin is cured twice as much during the build process, when compared to building using non continuous traditional DLP 3D printers. This delivers a porosity-free casting from EnvisionTEC’s ash free castable materials.
  • And more rings printed in Easy Cast 2.0 at 15 µm on the EnvisionTEC Vida UHD cDLM.

3D Printed Jewelry | Precise, Fast & Highly Castable from EnvisionTEC on Vimeo.

EnvisionTEC’s combination of 3D printers and its range of exclusive materials provides Isaac with a real competitive edge. Click here to see a video of Isaac Cohen and others describing why they chose cDLM technology.

Please do read the original article by Team EnvisionTEC here or visit EnvisionTEC.com to learn more.

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Syqe Medical reaps benefits of sustained high temperature parts with XJet Additive Manufacturing

Rehovot, Israel – November 4th, 2020 – XJet Ltd. has revealed today how Syqe Medical, the manufacturer of a revolutionary medical inhaler, is using XJet NanoParticle Jetting™ (NPJ) technology to create parts impossible to produce with other manufacturing methods.

Syqe Medical’s Selective-Dose inhaler aims to increase the effectiveness of patient treatment by delivering a range of drugs in breakthrough precision levels. This new level of precision allows patients to reach the coveted optimum balance between symptom relief and adverse events, and regain their quality of life.

Finding a need to build a high-precision, high-temperature and electrically insulated test facility for product development, Syqe Medical first looked to PEEK materials and traditional manufacturing methods because of the heat resistance requirements. However, according to Syqe Medical Founder and CEO Perry Davidson, design processes were constrained, requiring many adjustments and consequently, production costs were high, delivery times long and yet still the materials were not durable enough.

“Realising we needed another solution, we turned to XJet,” elaborates Itay Kurgan, Product manager at Syqe Medical. “We have a wealth of experience with additive manufacturing technologies and whilst the polymer materials don’t have the heat resistance we needed, XJet ceramic materials are resistant to temperatures even higher than our requirements and of course they are electrically insulated. Minor design adjustments are very easy, and results are precise and repeatable, so we can achieve optimum accuracy and delivery times are very fast. Where all other options were flawed in at least one aspect, XJet provided the perfect solution.”

The XJet Carmel 1400 AM system – featuring the company’s patented NanoParticle Jetting technology – enables the production of ceramic parts with the ease and versatility of inkjet printing. Using ultrafine layers, the Carmel system produces ceramic parts with superfine details, smooth surfaces and high accuracy which are preserved with the use of soluble support material which simply washes away.

“Syqe Medical is making life-changing advancements in the field of patient care so we’re delighted to see them reaping the rewards of XJet’s unique capabilities. Ceramics have some very valuable material properties, but it can be difficult to exploit them due to difficulties in the manufacturing process. XJet delivers all the benefits of ceramic materials, with accuracy and precision, but without the difficulties of traditional manufacturing,” says XJet CBO Dror Danai.

Please do read the official press release here.

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New video with Customer Testimonials for Desktop Metal

Hear from Desktop Metal customers about how they see Additive 2.0 impacting their business. Ford, APG, John Zink and UMC share insights on how additive manufacturing is transforming the way they design and develop parts. “Customized and tailor-printed parts are the future of manufacturing, industry and business as we know it.” “Not being part of this conversation would be a completely missed opportunity.”

Additive Manufacturing 2.0 is poised to launch the next revolution in manufacturing, with benefits that stretch from the factory floor to international supply chains. Explore how Desktop Metal customers say additive manufacturing impacts their business.

Learn more about Desktop Metal and the company’s customers and investors at: https://www.desktopmetal.com/investors

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New Product Launch: DEMI 4000 Resin Removal Solution

PostProcess Technologies has once again revolutionized resin removal for additive manufacturing. Leveraging proven submersion technology, the DEMI 4000™ is the world’s only large scale software-driven 3D post-printing solution for high-volume stereolithography (SLA) production. Read on to learn what sets it apart.

Powered Lift System (Key Benefits – Safety and Ease of Use)

The DEMI 4000’s powered lift system allows for automatic lowering and heightening of tray loads. This ergonomic feature saves floor space and messy bath transfers by eliminating the need for multiple machines, and allows for same-height loading of multiple build trays and consistent, operator-free processing.

Large Processing Tank (Key Benefits – High Volume Production)

Measuring 890mm x 890mm x 635mm, the DEMI 4000’s tank is designed to hold 275 gallons of resin removal chemistry. At this size, the tank can handle heavy loads of parts at one time, effectively increasing throughput and improving cycle times for all part sizes. Additionally, as a fully-enclosed system with a ventilation port, the DEMI 4000 ensures safety for operators and manages the work environment to control fumes and contain resin and detergent.

AUTOMAT3D™ Software Control (Key Benefits – High Volume Production)

AUTOMAT3D™ software takes the guesswork out of post-printing and reduces operator labor time with pre-programmed recipes. The software controls the agitation intensities, temperatures, process times, and more to deliver consistently complete resin removal. AUTOMAT3D optimizes the rate of resin removal with advanced ultrasonics, an advanced  pumping scheme, as well as heat and variable fluid flow. The system was designed with optimal operator ergonomics including multi-touch HMI with glass screen and stainless steel wash-down control buttons and interface panel.

Additive Formulated Chemistry (Key Benefits – Longevity, Cycle Times)

PostProcess offers a comprehensive suite of detergents, each uniquely optimized for post-processing of numerous resins from various manufacturers. This extends to specialized applications such as ceramic-filled resins and high-temp resins.

Our newest generation of detergent was found to have better longevity than all typical solvents (e.g. IPA, TPM, DPM), and an exceedingly safe flashpoint over 200°F / 93°C. This equates to less frequent chemical change-outs, improved environmental friendliness, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Printer Alignment

For reference, the DEMI 4000 aligns with the following large SLA printers:

  • 3DS ProX 800
    • Max build envelope: 6” x 29.5” x 21.6”  (650mm x 750mm x 550mm)
  • RPS NEO800
    • Max build envelope: 5” x 31.5” x 23.6” (800mm x 800mm x 600mm)
  • SSYS V650
    • Max build envelope: 20” x 20” x 23” (508mm x 508mm x 584mm)

For more info please contact us or visit:  https://www.postprocess.com/

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