Desktop Metal to become public, creating the only listed Pure-Play Additive Manufacturing 2.0 Company

  • Desktop Metal is a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, offering the fastest metal 3D printing technology in themarket, up to 100x the speed of legacy technologies(1)
  • The additive manufacturing industry is estimated to growfrom $12billionto $146billionthis decadeas it shifts from prototyping to mass production
  • Desktop Metal to become publicly listed through a business combination with Trine (NYSE:TRNE)
  • Combined company to have an estimated post-transaction equity value ofup to$2.5billionand will remain listed onthe NYSE under the ticker symbol “DM” following expected transaction closein the fourth quarter of 2020
  • Transaction to provide up to $575millionin gross proceeds, comprised ofTrine’s $300millionof cash held in trust (assuming no redemptions) and a $275M fullycommitted common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share, including investments from Miller Value Partners, XN, Baron Capital Group, Chamath Palihapitiya, JB Straubel, and HPS Investment Partners
  • Leo Hindery, Jr., legendary technology investor and operator, to join Desktop Metal’s board
  • All significant Desktop Metal shareholders including, Lux Capital, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, Ford Motor Company, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Koch Disruptive Technologies will retain their equity holdings through Desktop Metal’s transition into the publiclylisted company

BOSTON, MA (August 26, 2020)–Desktop Metal, Inc. (“Desktop Metal” or the “Company”) a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, announced today it will become a publicly listed company in order to accelerate its growth trajectory within the rapidly growing additive manufacturing market and capitalize on the strong secular tailwinds supporting the reshoring of manufacturing and supply chain flexibility. The Company has signed a definitive business combination agreement with Trine Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:TRNE), a special purpose acquisition company led by Leo Hindery, Jr., and HPS Investment Partners, a global credit investment firm with over $60 billion in assets under management.Upon closing of the transaction, the combined operating company will be named Desktop Metal,Inc. and will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol “DM.”

The additive manufacturing industry grew at a 20 percent annual compound rate between 2006 and 2016 before accelerating to 25 percent compound annual growth over the last 3years, a rate that is expected to continue over the next decade as the market surges from $12 billion in 2019 to an estimated $146 billion in 2030. This market inflection is being driven by a shift in applications from design prototyping and tooling to mass production of end-use parts, enabled by the emergence of what Desktop Metal refers to as “Additive Manufacturing 2.0,” a wave of next-generation additive manufacturing technologies that unlock throughput, repeatability, and competitive part costs. These solutions feature key innovations across printers, materials, and software and pull additive manufacturing into direct competition with conventional processes used to manufacture $12 trillion in goods annually.

Desktop Metal’s cash on hand after giving effect to the transaction will enable the Company to capitalize on its position at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 by accelerating the Company’s rapid growth and product development efforts. The Company will also use the proceeds to support constructive consolidation in the additive manufacturing industry.

Led by an experienced team with deep operational and scientific pedigree, Desktop Metal has distribution in more than 60 countries around the world and broad adoption from leading companies spanning array of industries,including automotive, consumer products, industrial automation, medical devices, and aerospace & defense.

Desktop Metal is ready to rapidly deploy its full suite of additive manufacturing solutions to existing and new customers on a global basis. The Company’s broad product portfolio includes the Studio System™, an office-friendly metal 3D printing system for low volume production, which has been shipping in volume for more than a year, as well as the new Shop System™ for mid-volume manufacturing and its continuous fiber composite printer, Fiber™, both of which are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Company’s Production System™, which has begun shipping to early customers and is expected to ship in volume in the second half of 2021, is designed to be the fastest way to 3D print metal parts at-scale, achieving print speeds up to 100x faster than legacy technologies and delivering thousands of parts per day at costs competitive with traditional manufacturing.

“We are at a major inflection point in the adoption of additive manufacturing, and Desktop Metal is leading the way in this transformation,” said Co-founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Desktop Metal, Ric Fulop. “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.”

Leo Hindery, Jr., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of TRNE added, “After evaluating more than 100 companies, we identified Desktop Metal as the most unique and compelling opportunity, a company that we believe is primed to be the leader in a rapidly growing industry thanks to their substantial technology moat, deep customer relationships across diverse end-markets, and impressive, recurring unit economics. Ric has put together an exceptional team and board of directors with whom we are excited to partner to create the only publicly traded pure-play Additive Manufacturing 2.0 company.”

 Tom Wasserman, Director of TRNE and Managing Director of HPS Investment Partners added, “We are thrilled to partner with Ric and Desktop Metal to help the Company achieve its goals and capture the massive Additive Manufacturing 2.0 opportunity. Thanks to its tremendous team, we believe Desktop Metal has incredible potential for future growth, which will only be accelerated by the extensive financial resources provided by this transaction.”

Transaction Overview

Pursuant to the transaction, TRNE, which currently holds $300 million in cash in trust, will combine with Desktop Metal at an estimated $2.5billion pro forma equity value. Assuming no redemptions by TRNE’s existing public stockholders, Desktop Metal’s existing shareholders will hold approximately 74percent of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock immediately following the closing of the business combination.

Cash proceeds in connection with the transaction will be funded through a combination of TRNE’s cash in trust and a$275millionfully committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share, including investments from funds and affiliates of Miller Value Partners, XN, Baron Capital Group, Chamath Palihapitiya, JB Straubel, and HPS Investment Partners.

The boards of directors of both Desktop Metal and TRNE have unanimously approved the proposed transaction. Completion of the proposed transaction is subject to approval of Trine and Desktop Metal stockholders and other closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Additional information about the proposed transaction, including a copy of the merger agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by TRNE today with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at


Credit Suisse is serving as the exclusive capital markets advisor to Desktop Metal and as sole private placement agent to TRNE. BTIG, LLCis serving as financial and capital markets advisor to TRNE. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Desktop Metal, and Paul,Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPis serving as legal advisor to TRNE. ICR is serving as investor relations and communications advisor to Desktop Metal.

Investor Conference Call

Desktop Metal and TRNE will host a joint investor conference call to discuss the business and the proposed transaction today, August 26, 2020, at 8:00 AM ET. To listen to the conference call via telephone, dial 1-877-407-4018 or 1-201-689-8471 (international callers/U.S. toll) and enter the conference ID number 13708990. To listen to the webcast, please click here. A replay of the call will be accessible at the webcast link.

For Desktop Metal investor relations website,visit

About Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with an expansive portfolio of 3D printing solutions, from rapid prototyping to mass production. 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 Additive Manufacturing 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 and named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies.

For more information, visit

About Trine Acquisition Corp

Trine Acquisition Corp is a blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, recapitalization, reorganization, or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities.

For more information, visit

Forward Looking Statements

This document contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws with respect to the proposed transaction between Desktop Metal, Inc. (“Desktop”) and Trine Acquisition Corp. (“Trine”), including statements regarding the benefits of the transaction, the anticipated timing of the transaction, the services offered by Desktop and the markets in which it operates, and Desktop’s projected future results. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this document, including but not limited to: (i) the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of Trine’s securities, (ii) the risk that the transaction may not be completed by Trine’s business combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the business combination deadline if sought by Trine, (iii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transaction, including the adoption of the agreement and plan of merger by the shareholders of Trine and Desktop, the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following redemptions by Trine’s public shareholders and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iv) the lack of a third party valuation in determining whether or not to pursue the proposed transaction, (v) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the agreement and plan of merger, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on Desktop’sbusiness relationships, performance, and business generally, (vii) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans of Desktop and potential difficulties in Desktop employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction, (viii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Desktop or against Trine related to the agreement and plan of merger or the proposed transaction, (ix) the ability to maintain the listing of Trine’s securities on the New York Stock Exchange, (x) the price of Trine’s securities may be volatile due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Desktop plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Desktop’s business and changes in the combined capital structure, (xi) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the proposed transaction, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (xii) the risk of downturns in the highly competitive additive manufacturing industry. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of Trine’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, the registration statement on Form S-4 and proxy statement/consent solicitation statement/prospectus discussed below and other documents filed by Trine from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements.Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Desktop and Trine assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Neither Desktop nor Trine gives any assurance that either Desktop or Trine will achieve its expectations.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

This document relates to a proposed transaction between Desktop and Trine. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. Trine intends to file a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of Trine, a consent solicitation statement of Desktop and a prospectus of Trine. The proxy statement/consent solicitation statement/prospectus will be sent to all Trine and Desktop stockholders. Trine also will file other documents regarding the proposed transaction with the SEC. Before making any voting decision, investors and security holders of Trine and Desktop are urged to read the registration statement, the proxy statement/consent solicitation statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction as they become available because they will contain important information about the proposed transaction.

Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the proxy statement/consent solicitation statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC by Trine through the website maintained by the SEC at In addition, the documents filed by Trine may be obtained free of charge from Trine’s website at or by written request to Trine at Trine Acquisition Corp., 405 Lexington Avenue, 48th Floor, New York, NY 10174.

Participants in the Solicitation

Trine and Desktop and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Trine’s stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Additional information regarding the interests of those persons and other persons who may be deemed participants in the proposed transaction may be obtained by reading the proxy statement/consent solicitation statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction. You may obtain a free copy of these documents as described in the preceding paragraph.

Press Contacts

For Desktop Metal Investor / Media Relations

Lynda McKinney

Investor Relations

Mike Callahan / Tom Cook

For Trine Acquisition Corp.

Pierre Henry

For HPS Investment Partners

Prosek Partners

Mike Geller / Josh Clarkson /

# # #

(1)Based on published speeds of binder jetting and laser powder bed fusion systems comparable to the Production System™ available as of August 25, 2020and using comparable materials and processing parameters.

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

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Desktop Metal receives multi-million dollar award to mass produce cobalt-free hardmetal parts

Metal 3D printing company Desktop Metal has been awarded a three-year $2.45 million dollar project from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a high-volume 3D printing process for the mass production of Cobalt-free hardmetals.

Desktop Metal’s proprietary Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology will be used to mass manufacture the cobalt-free hardmetal parts, made from a novel, iron-based nano material, at a rate of 200,000 parts from a single machine, per day.

“The novel Co-free hardmetal grade is expected to yield a high strength, high toughness, high hardness, and high wear resistance material,” said Dr. Nicholas Ku, materials engineer at CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL). “We believe combining this novel material with Desktop Metal’s Single Pass Jetting technology will have major applications not only in the defense sector but also in the commercial sector.

“Further, we believe this combined method will dramatically improve sustainability, reduce the use of a conflict mineral and provide an environmentally-friendly process to mass produce parts with superior properties.”

Desktop Metal’s SPJ technology 

The Desktop Metal Production System is a large scale machine which utilizes SPJ technology – an inkjet and powder-based method of metal 3D printing. In comparison to conventional binder jetting methods, which use multiple carriages and pass over a build box to print each layer, Desktop Metal’s patent-pending bi-directional SPJ technology consolidates these steps into the motion of a single print carriage. This significantly reduces print time and removes unnecessary steps to increase the Production System’s mechanical efficiency.

In fact, the company claims the Production System can achieve print speeds up to 100 times those of legacy powder bed fusion 3D printing technologies.

Chicago-based advanced digital manufacturing company Fast Radius was one of the first companies to receive Desktop Metal’s Production System in 2019, as it looked to further expand its global metal additive capabilities. Shortly after, Ford Motors also integrated the Production System to accelerate prototyping and manufacture limited scale production parts, after leading a $65 million investment round for the firm.

Most recently, Desktop Metal merged with blank check company Trine Acquisition Corp to go public with its 3D printing business, a move which will see it listed on the NYSE with an estimated equity value of $2.5 billion. Following the announcement, 3D Printing Industry investigated what this transaction could mean for the wider additive manufacturing industry.

The Desktop Metal Production System, equipped with SPJ technology. Image via Desktop Metal.

Mass manufacturing cobalt-free hardmetals

Cobalt is a naturally occurring element typically used as a metallic binder material for cemented tungsten carbide. While a critical component in items such as lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, Cobalt has also been linked with negative respiratory and dermal side effects, particularly to those who are mining it. The mining of Cobalt also poses environmental issues, such as increased radioactivity levels and polluted rivers and drinking water.

The ARL has therefore been investigating a replacement for Cobalt, culminating in the development of a patented cobalt-free hardmetal material that uses a novel iron-based nano material as its matrix.

Once the material had been developed, the U.S. Army Contracting Command tasked Desktop Metal with providing a cost-effective, high volume process able to print the novel hardmetals, on behalf of U.S. Army Research Laboratory to the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) and the Advanced Manufacturing, Materials and Processes (AMMP) consortium.

During the project, Desktop Metal will develop a feedstock and binder system for the cobalt-free hardmetal. Without the use of tooling, the firm’s SPJ process will print the novel hardmetals into complex, net, or near-net shaped parts. The goal of the project is to print at least 200,000 parts per day from a single machine.

Desktop Metal will also deliver a cost analysis to step up its SPJ technology for the manufacture of at least 500,000 prototype parts. The company believes its SJP process will “lead the development” of a dual-use technology suitable to various commercial and DoD applications.

Desktop Metal’s decision to go public could raise it $575 million in additional funding. Image via Desktop Metal.

The carbide hardmetals sector

According to Desktop Metal, the carbide hardmetals market is projected to grow to $24 billion by 2024. Carbide hardmetals are used in multiple dual use applications spanning sectors including oil and gas, chemical and textile, agricultural tools, aerospace, defense, construction, and more.

Dr. Animesh Bose, vice president of Special Projects at Desktop Metal, will serve as principal investigator of the three-year project. A fellow of ASM International and APMI International, Bose has amassed 40 years’ experience in processing particulate materials.

“The success in this project will not only provide the hardmetal community with their eagerly desired Co-free hardmetal solution, but also result in the development of a tool-free processing technique capable of fabricating this class of materials into extremely complex shaped parts at speeds that can rival most other high-volume manufacturing techniques, opening op new horizons in the area of hardmetals and its applications,” he said.

It’s expected by the relevant parties that this project will aid in providing a more environmentally friendly way to mass produce metals, alloys, and other composite parts for both DoD and commercial applications.

Dr Animesh Bose will serve as principal investigator of the three-year project. Image via Desktop Metal.

Please do read the original article by Hayley Everett here.

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Application Note: Chemistry Advancements for Automated Resin Removal: PLM-403-SUB


I. Summary
II. Testing & Validation of SLA Resin Removal Solution
III. Conclusion

This paper examines PostProcess Technologies’ newly released resin removal chemistry, PLM-403-SUB (referred to as 403 from here on), as part of its comprehensive Automated Resin Removal Solution. It will review the effectiveness across a range of materials, safe operations, and process optimizations as compared to traditional alternatives isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and tripropylene glycol monomethyl ether (TPM).

The goal of the new 403 chemistry is to, in concert with the software and hardware components of the resin removal solution, ease the multiple burdens that typically arise when removing uncured resin following various Vat Photopolymerization processes. With this solution, users can dramatically reduce cycle times, process steps, and the typical operational risk factors that come with legacy resin removing solvents.

The PostProcess 403 chemistry is a new formulation that improves upon the performance of the previously released PLM-402 SUB (referred to as 402 from here on). The primary benefits of the solution are the same as those identified previously with the 402 detergent, including industry-leading cycle times and reduction of required process steps. Unlike previous methods which may have required both TPM and dirty IPA baths followed by various rinse steps, cycle times with 403 in PostProcess’s patented hardware technology are frequently less than 10 minutes. Additionally, the process takes place within just one piece of equipment. This effectively cuts down on both attended and unattended process time. The user can simply load and unload from the system, and perform a quick rinse before moving to the post-cure step. This is compared to cycle times of 20+ minutes in multiple TPM/IPA baths which involve operator intervention throughout the cycle to move from one step to the next.

The 403 chemistry has been successfully used to remove uncured resin from the model materials listed in Table 1 (as of publication date noted in the footer). Ongoing validation tests for additional resins are being conducted with the intention of covering the vast majority of resins available, and will be updated periodically in this document available on the
PostProcess website.

One of the most important factors for users, after ability to clean parts, is the detergent life, or longevity. This typically determines the frequency of labor-intensive equipment cleaning efforts. Longevity for resin removal detergent is typically defined as the amount by weight that the chemical solution can hold and still effectively remove resin. As most users look to remove resin as quickly as possible, the longevity of various solvents are compared while holding 10 minute cycle times. From the data depicted in Figure 1 and in Table 2, 403 has significantly better longevity (capacity by weight of resin in solution at 10 minutes) than all other typical solvents (i.e., IPA, DPM, TPM) used to remove uncured resin from printed parts. Likewise, 403 has 6% improved longevity versus PostProcess’s previously released industry- leading chemistry, 402.

Figure 1: Saturation of various chemical solvents for resin removal

The saturation of the 403 chemistry with removed resin can be measured using the hydrometer (see Figure 2 and Table 3 below), which is provided with every PostProcess Automated Resin Removal Solution.

FIGURE 2: Hydrometer

Due to its increased longevity, 403 offers a significant reduction in waste generation compared to other solvents. Subsequently, the lower frequency of chemistry changeouts reduces the required maintenance labor hours in the process.

The detergents used in the resin removal process will also contain the uncured resins in solution. These resins do not become less hazardous after removal, and are all considered hazardous materials in the chemicals used to remove them. The frequency and volume of waste disposal will be a factor in the total cost to dispose of the exhausted chemicals.

An initial set of tensile testing has been conducted to show mechanical property integrity compared to existing solvent cleaning methods. Accura ClearVue, Accura 60, and Accura Extreme Grey were all subjected to a resin removal process using 403 and IPA, along with a control group in which the uncured resin was carefully wiped off. Following these procedures, all tensile bars underwent a curing step according to manufacturer recommendations. Key properties have been compared below.

As shown above, tensile strength at yield is within 5% of the control group for both 403 and IPA processed parts. Values for tensile at break are also nearly identical for 403 and IPA. While elongation varies slightly, it still lies within the manufacturer specifications (3-15% for ClearVue, 5-13% for 60, and 14-22% for Extreme Grey) for both 403 and IPA. In summary, when moving from an IPA cleaning process to the PostProcess solution utilizing the 403 chemistry, mechanical properties will not be significantly affected.

Inhalation and combustion risks during the resin removal process are a widespread concern for all resin removal users. Additionally, regulations can significantly limit the amount of combustible resin removal liquids that can be stored on site in a facility. The 403 chemistry has improved safety and environmental characteristics that address these issues, as seen in Table 5 below.

The high flash point of 403 (220°F, 104.4°C) means far less vapor will end up in the air near the machine, especially when compared to a volatile solvent like IPA. With typical process temperatures ranging from ambient temperatures (75 – 85°F, 23.9 – 29.4°C) up to 120 – 130°F (48.9 – 54.4°C) for the PostProcess Resin Removal Solution, there is still a very large gap before reaching the ¼ LEL temperature of 163°F (72.8°C).

For higher volume resin removal, where large volumes of chemical are required to remove the resin, 403 addresses storage limitation issues with flammable liquids.

The amount of flammable/combustible resin removal liquids that can be kept on-site is limited by various regulations. Liquids with a flashpoint below 200°F (93.3°C) are usually limited to 120 gallons (454 L). Conversely, liquids with a flashpoint greater than 200°F (93.3°C) can usually be stored in quantities up to 13,200 gallons (5000 dekaliters). Because 403 has a flashpoint of 220°F (104.4°C), it can operate and be stored in much larger quantities than other resin removal chemistries, as summarized in Table 6. Table 6 is specific to the United States. Please refer to your local regulations when outside of the US.

The new 403 chemistry is an environmentally-friendly alternative. It has a much lower vapor pressure than other solvents, and a 220°F (104.4°C) flashpoint that makes it much safer to use. In 402, D-limonene was used to help with resin removal. Although generally safe to use, it has been replaced in 403 with a more environmentally-friendly option that reduces risks following the waste removal step.

Once saturated with resin, 403 can be recovered for reuse by distillation. Under a typical vacuum distillation, up to 90%+ of 403 by saturation weight (amount of resin in solution) can be recovered for reuse of the detergent. This makes 403 a particularly sustainable option.

With reduced waste generation, lower vapor pressure, and higher flashpoint than any other option on the market, the 403 chemistry is the most sustainability-friendly solution available.

PostProcess Technologies’ new 403 chemistry as a part of its comprehensive Automated Resin Removal Solution is a definitive improvement over current mechanical and chemical technologies used to remove resin in Vat Photopolymerization 3D post printing. Through a combination of breakthrough chemistry, patented hardware technology, and proprietary software, uncured resin removal can be accomplished in 10 minutes or less for simultaneous trays of printed parts. This newest formulation offers a much higher resin capacity, yielding a longer useful life compared to other chemical methods. With intuitive software controls and process monitoring, the speed and ease of use of the solution results in increased consistency at levels required for production volumes. Ultimately, the attended operator time is greatly reduced and the 403 chemistry is inherently safer to use and store.

Can you benefit from optimizing your SLA resin removal process?
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France’s Cetim one of first to adopt Desktop Metal Shop System

New collaboration to accelerate adoption of industrial metal AM

Desktop Metal has announced a new collaboration with Cetim, the France-based Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry. The partners will work together to promote and accelerate the global adoption of metal additive manufacturing across industrial sectors by identifying market opportunities for AM and supporting innovation across Cetim’s customer network. As part of the partnership, Cetim has already become, in last August, one of the first adopters of Desktop Metal’s new Shop System metal binder jetting platform.

Cetim was inspired to work with Desktop Metal after successfully installing and utilizing the Studio System at its facility in Cluses, France. The center will continue to leverage this system for rapid prototyping and low-volume production while has also added the Desktop Metal Shop System’s capability for low-volume prototyping or mid-volume runs of complex metal components. These resources will enable Cetim customers from across the aerospace, oil and gas and automotive sectors, to name a few, to explore new AM applications and opportunities.

“As the demand for metal AM continues to grow, it is challenging for many of the mechanical industry companies we work with to identify the right solution that meets their needs and then to implement it in an effective and cost efficient way,” explained Pierre Chalandon, COO at Cetim. “Desktop Metal technologies with both the Studio System and new Shop System completes our additive manufacturing machines park. From a general point of view, Metal Binder Jetting Technology is promising for a large part of our clients. Desktop Metal solutions portfolio covers the full metal product lifecycle, which is complementary to our experience on sintered material and finishing operations.”

The fine detail of a part 3D printed using the Shop System

The Desktop Metal Shop System, unveiled at Formnext 2019, is a metal binder jetting technology designed specifically for machine shop use and is capable of producing complex metal components with both speed and quality. The solution is also notable for its relative affordability: the Shop System starts at $150,000. Desktop Metal says the system is designed to enable shop manufacturers to “tap into new opportunities to reduce their costs and increase revenue.”

Through the partnership, Desktop Metal and Cetim will also work on a range of research projects involving Desktop Metal’s metal AM technologies, including design for metal AM processes, post-processing and finishing technique qualification, workflow optimization and materials development. Cetim brings to the table its extensive knowledge of metal AM processes (including LPBF, WAAM, MBJ), which it has built up over the past 15 years. In recent years, Cetim has been particularly involved in the development of metal binder jetting, which it believes creates new opportunities for production capacity and material range. The French center is also actively involved in the normalization of metal AM, coordinating the Additive Factory Hub (AFH) with the aim of implementing AM to address industrial and economic challenges.

“When it comes to empowering industrial companies with the additive manufacturing technologies of the future, Cetim is truly one of the leaders in Europe,” concluded Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal. “We are excited to partner with Cetim as one of the first customers for our ground-breaking Shop System and are eager to collaborate with Cetim on our shared efforts to change the way that companies manufacture around the globe.”

Please do read the official article by Tess Boissonneault here.

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EnvisionTEC lanches D4K Pro Dental

The highest resolution desktop DLP 3D printer for the dental segment

EnvisionTEC is introducing the new D4K Pro Dental, the highest resolution 4K desktop 3D printer specifically for the dental segment. The D4K Pro from EnvisionTEC includes the fastest print speed for a standard DLP printer (intended as non-continuous). As such it can deliver extremely accurate parts with the finest detail available.

The D4K Pro is built on an industrial 4K DLP projector which ensures stable performance for many years. The D4K Pro is compatible with all EnvisionTEC DLP resins for the dental industry, providing essential solutions for applications from models to full dentures and everything in between.

Designed for chairside and small labs, the D4K Pro is the industry’s newest solution, brought to you by the original inventors of DLP 3D printing technology. EnvisionTEC has been leading the way for dental 3D printing since 2003, with equipment and material innovations that have revolutionized the dental and orthodontic industries.

The company founded by Al Siblani has been serving the dental market since 2008, when Jim Glidewell walked up to an EnvisionTEC trade show booth and asked: “Can you do teeth?”

Glidwell is the owner of Glidewell Laboratories in Newport Beach, CA, one the single largest dental labs in the US. Today, Glidewell 3D prints dental prosthetics on nearly a dozen EnvisionTEC printers, both desktop and production models. “Our Perfactory 3D printer from EnvisionTEC allows us to create highly precise wax patterns at a fraction of the time required for a hand wax-up,” Glidwell said.

And EnvisionTEC offers an industry-leading dental materials portfolio that includes several FDA- and CE-approved materials for long term use in the mouth. These include NextDent C&B MFH, NextDent Denture 3D+, E-Guard, E-Guide Tint, and E-IDB, with more added regularly. These dental materials 3D print a full range of models (dental and orthodontic), castables (crowns, bridges, partial frameworks), restorations (crown, bridge, full roundhouse, as well as complete dentures) and appliances (surgical guides, bite splints, indirect bonding trays).

Please do read the official article by Davide Sher here.

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Desktop Metal’s Live Sinter: How simulation software is mitigating sintering distortion

Sintering distortion is a fact of life in the Metal Injection Moulding industry. However, through the combination of an experienced eye, the ‘trial and error’ iteration of a part’s design, and the use of sintering supports when needed, stable high-volume production is achieved. With the growth of processes such as metal Binder Jetting, however, the need to manufacture a much wider range of parts at lower production volumes and in a shorter time frame means that a more efficient and streamlined approach is required. Andy Roberts, VP Software at Desktop Metal and the inventor of Live Parts™, presents the simulation software along with a number of case studies illustrating its capabilities

With the ability to eliminate tooling, dramatically reduce manufacturing timelines and create more complex parts than ever before, Binder Jetting (BJT) is quickly revolutionising the way many metal parts are produced. To reach its full potential, though, there is one hurdle that is often overlooked – sintering.
As with Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), BJT parts must be debound and then sintered at temperatures close to the melting point of the alloy being used. The sintering process can cause parts to shrink by as much as 20% and, if not properly supported, there is a real risk of parts slumping and sagging. The result is parts that may emerge from the sintering furnace cracked or deformed beyond usability. Even when not cracked, such parts are typically produced to tight tolerances and any requirement to correct the dimensional accuracy of the parts through post-processing creates additional overhead and expense.

Fig. 1 A Desktop Metal Production System installed at Indo-MIM’s metal Binder Jetting operation in San Antonio, Texas, USA (Courtesy Indo-MIM Inc)

For MIM suppliers, the low-tech solution has for decades been simply a mix of having an experienced eye for appropriate part design and basic trial-and-error: testing various combinations of part geometry, ceramic setters and rafts, then locking in the combination that works for mass production. However, what if, instead of fighting against sintering based deformation, we joined forces with it?

Fig. 2 This image shows three parts – the original CAD part (dark grey), a scan of the sintered straight part (purple), and the negative offset part generated by Live Sinter (light grey). The geometry of the sintered straight part matches the shape that Live Sinter produces after its sinter simulation (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

The need for a sintering simulation tool

A first-of-its-kind software application, Live Sinter is capable of simulating, in just minutes, the deformation parts undergo as they sinter, allowing manufacturers to predict how parts will change shape as they densify. Developed over a year in collaboration with Desktop Metal’s materials scientists, the software uses iterative simulation operations to create ‘negative offsets’ – proactively deforming parts by specific amounts in specific directions that allow them to achieve their intended shape as they sinter. Importantly, though, these negative offsets are not simply inversions of the deformation that parts experience during sintering. On the contrary, once the offsets are created, they represent an entirely new simulation challenge.

Fig. 2 shows three parts – the original CAD part (dark grey), a scan of the sintered straight part (purple), and the negative offset part gener- ated by Live Sinter (light grey). The geometry of the sintered straight part matches the shape that Live Sinter produces after its sinter simulation. The software uses the red vectors to derive green vectors that transform original points A to negative offset points C, thus forming the negative offset part. Importantly, the green negative offset vectors are not the negatives of the red vectors. Both the magnitudes and directions of the vectors are different. Live Sinter can generate the green negative offset vectors by using its sintering simula- tion engine. It is also noteworthy that, in performing a negative offset, Live Sinter not only transforms the geometry from points A to C, it also transforms the amount of material (metal powder) and the build orientations of cells. The negative offset process creates an entirely new physics problem that has its own sintering simulation results. The goal of these results is to produce a part represented by points C that sinters to the shape represented by points A.
The need for accurate, automatic, high-speed simulation tools such as Live Sinter is undeniable – in large part because a significant increase in part throughput is among the primary benefits that comes with Additive Manufacturing. If manufacturers hope to capitalise on the speed and agility of mass-production via AM, the rest of the manufacturing design process, as it ramps up to production, must be equally fast, and making sintering more predictable is a critical step.

Creating rafts and supports to hold parts during sintering is time- consuming, certainly, but the process is also expensive. In some cases, supports use more material than the parts themselves and, at scale, it can be the difference between a part that makes economic sense and one that does not. By predicting shrinkage and distortion during sintering, Live Sinter can reduce or fully eliminate the need for supports. The end result, despite sintering with minimal or even no rafts or supports, is parts that emerge from the furnace at near-net shape, reducing waste from failed builds and the time needed to post-process parts to meet specific tolerances.
While Live Sinter works across all Desktop Metal platforms, it is primarily targeted for use with the company’s Binder Jetting systems. Initially, Live Sinter will be available as a standalone application for download and local installation. In a future release, Desktop Metal may also offer a cloud-hosted version of the software.
Live Sinter may also be bundled with the sale of certain Desktop Metal Additive Manufacturing systems and will have features specifically tailored to Desktop Metal’s own technology and material offerings, but the technology is compatible with any sinterbased Powder Metallurgy process, including MIM.


Fig. 3 A screenshot of the Live Sinter software (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

Additive Manufacturing presents new sintering challenges

As the adoption of metal Additive Manufacturing, and, in particular, binder jet systems which deposit liquid binder onto metal powder to build parts layer-by-layer, has grown in recent years, so too has the demand for the sintering of metal powder parts. Whilst MIM and BJT parts share many similarities, including the requirement for debinding and sintering at near-melting point temperatures, in many ways the comparison between the two processes is limited to this step of the process. Creating a MIM part begins by creating a mould. Metal powder and binder are then mixed and injected into this mould to create what are referred to as ‘green’ parts, which go through a debinding process before being sintered in a furnace.

Additively manufacturing parts, by comparison, eliminates the need for moulds and other tooling or fixturing, allowing manu- facturers to quickly create parts, opening the door to highly-complex parts as well as mass customisa- tion from one build to the next.
While AM reduces part turnaround time and increases new part throughput, the lengthy trial-and- error process of finding a sintering solution becomes ever more impractical. To keep up, manufac- turers need simulation tools that can quickly predict how parts will behave in the furnace.
In addition, AM enables parts larger than those typically supported by MIM, meaning distor- tion during sintering can have a larger effect on their final shape. These factors and many others point to the need for a product like Live Sinter – a powerful simulation engine capable of modelling the complex physics at work as metal parts reach temperatures as high as 1,400°C.

Fig. 4 Without the negative offsets generated by Live Sinter, this drape bar test part shows a pronounced droop in the middle (top). To counteract the deformation, Live Sinter arches the top bar and tips the feet outward (middle) allowing the part to return to straight after sintering (bottom) (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

The challenge in modelling sintering behaviour

The notion of simulating how mate- rials respond to gravity, shrinkage, density variations, elastic bending, plastic deformation, friction drag and more is not a new idea, but it is an incredibly difficult one. Part of what makes sintering so difficult to model is the fact that it involves both thermodynamic and mechanical transformations that take place under intense heat, making them difficult to observe.
To monitor those changes, manufacturers have only two real options – either halting the sintering process mid-stream and examining parts after they cool, or installing windows in the furnace to observe distortions from images taken at high temperature.
With few other options, the goal has long been to find a way to simulate the process and, though attempts have been made to do just that, those models must replicate a host of factors, including material properties, density, stress, strain – both elastic and plastic, and friction contact, to name just a few.
Further complicating those efforts, simulating the process based on first principles means other factors such as the micro-behaviour of the material at the particle level, models of heat transfer, chemical reactions to heat and the mechanics involved in simulating the shrinkage and plastic deformation caused by factors like creep strain, must also enter the equation.
The difficulty of creating a model that incorporates all these factors means that, to date, most attempts to simulate sintering behaviour have come from academia and have relied on custom code. Ultimately, though, the vast complexity of the models, combined with a lack of data from inside hot furnaces, has made the process virtually impossible.

A novel, integrated approach to simulation

Live Sinter, however, takes an alter- native approach. Rather than working entirely from first principles, it uses a multi-physics engine borrowed from the gaming world which runs on NVIDIA GPUs – the same proces- sors found in high-end gaming PCs. Capable of modelling 700,000-plus particles with mass and radii, the multi-physics engine can simulate how particles collide with each other, as well as with the rigid bodies of arbitrary shapes. In addition, the engine models both body and direc- tional forces as they are applied to the particles.

The result is an extremely fast approximation – simulations are run in just minutes – of the physics inside the furnace, including shrinkage, plastic deformation, friction interaction and more. To refine the engine’s approximations, Live Sinter also employs a meshless FEA engine, which analyses the model at regular intervals to provide Von Mises stress based on data derived from the physics engine.

Complex physics, complex models

In order to simulate the complex behaviour of parts as they sinter, Live Sinter uses a number of approaches.
Simulation of the elastic behaviour of solid parts during sintering builds on a model developed by researchers at NVIDIA. By connecting a collection of simulated particles together with position constraints and dampers, Live Sinter can simulate behaviour such as stretching and compression, both of which are critical to under- standing how metal parts change shape during sintering.
At the same time, the software can model both static and dynamic friction, including the way in which the resulting reaction forces may change from part to part, either due to material differences or the presence of anti-sintering agents. By overlaying a model of plastic defor- mation on the elastic behaviour of the position constraints, Live Sinter can model how creep strain leads to non- uniform deformation of parts.
The system applies creep strain by relaxing the resting lengths of the position constraints over time, which indirectly changes the strain. In areas of higher stress and temperature, that change rate will be higher, leading to more deformation in some areas and less in others.

Fast simulation and excellent accuracy

Armed with its unique, dual-engine approach and highly complex models, Live Sinter can create a simulation of a furnace run in as little as three to seven minutes, as opposed to simulations using complex, dynamic physics which require hours to run. Based on that simulation, the software generates negative offsets in
fifteen to twenty minutes, something that other approaches to sintering simulation are unable to do.
The design of Live Sinter allows the system to strike a balance between speed and accuracy – the GPU-based physics engine provides a quick approximation of the sintering process, which can then be tuned to give more accurate results. The premise is that, while it may not be possible to know the coefficients for every property such as friction, compliance, grain size, diffusion rates or activation temperatures,
it may be possible to tune the physics engine to get the correct resulting shapes and produce successful parts.
To ensure the simulations are as accurate as possible, the first step in using Live Sinter is to tune the system using a series of test parts and scans of these parts after sintering. Once that tuning process is completee, an unlimited number of parts can be processed, simulating sintering distortion and producing negative offset geometry that results in straight sintered parts. Additionally, Live Sinter retains the high level of detail that makes metal AM an attractive manufacturing technology.

Fig. 5 Three images of a fibre heater body part. Live Sinter generates the CAD model (top) which is used to generate a green part (middle). As it sinters, the oval shape of the green part returns to its intended, circular shape (bottom). The images shown are not to scale. The slight warping in the flange is due to tiny density differences that occur during powder spreading. Algorithms to address those density changes are being developed for Live Sinter (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

Simulating macro and micro distortion effects

Generally speaking, the factors that affect how a part might behave during sintering fall into two main categories: macro factors, which cause distortion to the entire part, and micro factors, which might only occur in a small portion of the larger part. Importantly, Live Sinter compensates for both.
The bulk of the distortions compensated for by Live Sinter are related to macro factors, such as gravity and friction drag, which typically affect the entire part. In the case of the drape bar shown in Fig. 4, parts built without negative offsets showed a pronounced droop in the
middle. This is caused not primarily by gravity as one might guess, but rather the friction drag that prevents the bar’s feet from moving – the bottom portions remain fixed to the setter while the top regions are pulled together, causing a pivoting of the feet.
Were gravity and plastic distortion alone responsible for the distortion, the bar would not have this shape. The two outside feet would be planted flat. Instead, those feet are cocked inward far enough to lift the outside edges. Rather, the distortion is the result of the middle portion of the drape bar shrinking as it sinters. As that middle section
moves, however, the part’s feet remain immobile – friction drag prevents them from sliding inwards as far or as fast as the top of the bar, resulting in its characteristic distortion. While much of this distortion is caused by elastic bending during shrinkage, plastic creep strain takes over and causes the release of stress and freezing of the part in this final drooped shape.
The negative offsets created by Live Sinter instead arch the top of the bar up and tip the feet out, allowing the part to return to straight as it sinters. Because friction drag prevents the feet of the drape bar from sliding very much, the negative offset compensates for this by allowing the part to pivot around its largely immobile feet as it shrinks.
Interestingly, this places most of the part in compression as it sinters, rather than subjecting certain regions, such as the underside of the cross member, to tension, which would likely cause cracks.
For other parts, such as the heater body component shown in Fig. 5 from Desktop Metal’s Fiber™ machine, it became important to compensate for other issues. When built without negative offsets and minimal supports on the sides, the cylindrical part either warps or – in extreme cases – simply collapses on itself during sintering. Rather than build the part as a cylinder, the negative offset generated by Live Sinter creates an oval-shaped part. As it sinters, the combination of gravity and unsupported sides causes the oval shape to drop slightly, returning the part to its proper, circular shape.

In the case of the part known as a ULA bracket (Fig. 6), however, both of these factors – friction drag and gravity – are working at the same time to produce different effects in different regions of the part. When sintered without negative offsets, the feet of the bracket, as with the drape bar, tend to tip inward due to the shrinkage of the upper cross member combined with friction drag of the feet. At the same time, gravity, combined with an uneven weight distribution on the feet, causes the part to warp into a distinctive ‘duckfooted’ posture.

To compensate for these deformations, Live Sinter creates a part whose feet are tipped inward and arches the middle of the bracket, allowing the parts to return to straight during sintering. These macro effects, though, are just one type of feature that can lead to deformation of parts. The second is far more localised and stems from subtle differences in the density of the metal powder used in certain BJT processes.

Due to their symmetrical geometry, parts like the fuel swirler shown in Fig. 7 are far less susceptible to problems such as friction drag. If they do experience drag, their symmetrical shape means the entire part experiences it, so warping seen from looking down on the part is minimised. The pull of gravity also causes little, if any, changes during sintering.
However, when parts do exhibit problems, they may be related to density variations due to powder spreading or compaction in the powder bed.

Though this phenomenon is not completely understood, it is believed that changes in part density can occur as the powder spreading mechanism applies layers of metal powder over the build surface. Slight changes in density, built up through a part layer-by-layer, can cause a part to warp because areas of lower density shrink more than areas with higher density. In MIM, an equivalent scenario is when density variations arise as a result of powder/binder separation during the injection moulding process. Live Sinter, however, can compensate for these density variations and create negative offset designs that, when sintered, will result in straight parts.

Future outlook

Though it already shows great promise as a tool for making the sintering process more predictable, additional improvements to Live Sinter are planned for the future. One project, which will be undertaken in collaboration with Desktop Metal’s software engineers and material scientists, will add a layer of machine learning to identify correlations between changes to certain input parameters and changes in the deformation results in certain regions of a part. For example, if changing the friction coefficients for a part like the drape bar could lead to the part’s feet tilting in to a greater or lesser degree, a machine learning algorithm could spot the association, allowing the system to automatically tune these parameters to correct it.
A second project would add the ability for users to calibrate Live Sinter for even more precise results. Parts produced with negative offsets should emerge from sintering with straight geometry, but there may be cases where the geometry is not perfect, due to the software’s inability to accurately model some aspect of the shrinkage and deformation.

In these cases, users would be able to scan the finished part and identify areas that require fine tuning and the software would recalibrate the negative offsets to produce even more accurate results.

While the ultimate goal of Live Sinter is to eliminate deviations from specified part geometries that necessitate additional machining steps for BJT parts, the software today is unable to model sintering behaviour that emerges from different heat or gas flow patterns in furnaces or other complex thermodynamic transformations that take place in the furnace environment.
To address these issues, future versions of Live Sinter will include tools designed to allow users to scan finished parts, in which any number of parameters (related to different furnace runs, different production runs and more) were altered. The software can then automatically parts with usable results.

While Live Sinter is compatible with MIM parts, initially Desktop Metal will support materials offered on Desktop Metal AM systems and will continue to develop support for new materials in-house. In a future release, material optimisation capabilities will be made available externally, so customers can use Live Sinter to improve the accuracy of parts manufactured using their own novel materials.

Fig. 6 When built without negative offsets (top) this bracket tips inward and sags, while gravity and uneven weight distribution combine to produce a distinctive ‘duck-footed’ warping. To correct these issues, Live Sinter tips the feet inward and arches the middle of the bracket (middle), causing the part to return to its intended shape (bottom) as it sinters (Courtesy Desktop Metal)
Fig. 7 When sintered without using Live Sinter, tiny density variations in the metal powder cause the fins of this fuel swirler to warp in one direction or the other. Live Sinter compensates for those variations and produces a part that emerges from the furnace with straight fins (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

Answering a decades-old challenge

By making the sintering process more understandable and repeatable across multiple part designs, Live Sinter could offer benefits not just to individual manufacturers but to the Additive Manufacturing industry as a whole. For decades – even before the emergence of Binder Jetting technology – the Powder Metallurgy industry has struggled with questions of how to create supports that prop up parts in the furnace and, for decades, the answer has been to rely on the intuition of the relatively few engineers with years of hands-on sintering experience. With Live Sinter, however, the process becomes far more controllable – something that will likely help to assuage concerns of potential users.

For many companies, particularly those who have never used a furnace and have no experience with sintering, the notion of additively manufacturing and bulk sintering hundreds – or even dozens – of parts is a daunting one. While companies with MIM experience may have standard support structures they can turn to for Binder Jetting, many more are entering the process with limited exposure to Powder Metallurgy, so a product like Live Sinter is a critical tool that enables them to adopt metal Additive Manufacturing with confidence that they will be able to deploy the technology for mass production.
It has often been said that Additive Manufacturing will change the face of industry – Live Sinter is a crucial step in making it happen.


Andy Roberts
VP Software, Desktop Metal

From Pim International Magazine

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