Desktop Metal to acquire Envisiontec

Desktop Metal to acquire EnvisionTEC in $300m deal to enter the DLP 3D printing market

Metal 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal has signed a $300 million definitive agreement to acquire DLP system and material producer EnvisionTEC

Once concluded in February 2021, the cash-plus-stock deal will see EnvisionTEC become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the publicly-listed Desktop Metal. The acquisition represents Desktop’s first move into the DLP market, and provides it with access to the growing additive dental, jewelry, and bio-fabrication industries. 

Following Desktop’s announcement, its shares jumped by 7% from $23.20 to $24.99, before settling back at $23.75 by close of trade on Friday. 

“I’m thrilled to partner with Al [Siblani] and the EnvisionTEC team to bring significant growth to the additive market,” said Ric Fulop, Founder, and CEO of Desktop Metal. “Together, Desktop Metal and EnvisionTEC have an opportunity to shape the future of Additive Manufacturing 2.0, and transform how parts are made around the world.”

Machines printing parts in row
Desktop Metal’s acquisition of EnvisionTEC could enable it to access the growing 3D printed dental and medical device markets. Photo via PostProcess.

Desktop begins additive expansion 

Through its acquisition deal, Desktop Metal has purchased 100% of EnvisionTEC’s shares at an aggregate purchase price of $300 million. Not all of the funding will be paid in cash, and Desktop Metal will only be required to pay $150 million up-front, with the rest being retained by EnvisionTEC shareholders as stock in the newly-merged company. 

Although the agreement is subject to the customary closing conditions, it’s expected to be concluded in short order, with EnvisionTEC founder Al Siblani staying on as the subsidiary’s CEO. For Desktop Metal, the acquisition ends months of speculation over its potential takeover targets, which began after its merger with Trine Acquisition last year. 

The merger, which valued the new company at $2.5 billion, provided it with a $580 million war chest to capitalize on growth opportunities, and it went live on the NYSE. With its purchase of EnvisionTEC, Desktop Metal has now answered a lot of questions about its ambitions, by showing that it views DLP as vital to the success of its ‘Additive 2.0’ project.

Acquiring EnvisionTEC’s portfolio  

On a call with analysts, Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop highlighted several reasons behind the firm’s purchase. Describing EnvisionTEC as “the original innovator in DLP,” Fulop pointed out that although most of its processes are now deployed by “other players in the market,” its continuous polymer printing patents prove its founding role within the industry. 

Desktop Metal was also impressed by the potential of EnvisionTEC’s upcoming DLP 8K Xtreme machine, which it claims is significantly faster than both Formlabs’ 3L and HP’s MJF 5200 systems. Powered by the firm’s patented Projection Array technology, the 8K effectively uses a ‘closed-loop’ printing process to create parts that exhibit “desirable qualities.”

EnvisionTEC’s large-format printer is characterized by a huge 71-liter build volume, and Fulop asserted that it would provide users with “dramatically better price-performance” than its competitors. In addition, despite continued market turbulence, the 8K remains scheduled for a Q1 2021 release, meaning that Desktop could get a rapid return on its investment. 

Once the merger has been completed, the firms plan to seek out collaborative opportunities, and they’ve already earmarked EnvisionTEC’s RAM binder jetting machine as one to watch. The device is essentially an ABB robotic system, that’s designed to offer clients a cost-effective method of producing investment casting and design models. 

Compared to legacy sanding systems, the firm claims that the RAM is 25-50% cheaper, while remaining capable of constructing builds as large as 1828 x 914 x 914 mm. Now, by integrating its Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology into the machine, Desktop says that it can “dramatically enhance” its performance, and better address the digital casting market. 

Desktop explores new verticals 

Desktop’s acquisition could open up new markets to its products too, and by absorbing EnvisionTEC’s distributor network, the firm will go from having 80 partners to over 200. Significantly, given the widespread applications of the Envision One within dental 3D printing, Desktop will also be able to expand into what is a growing $10 billion industry. 

In this light, EnvisionTEC’s customer base of 1,000 orthodontic users, and its 190-strong material portfolio (60 of which are dental), provide Desktop with a ready-made foothold in a lucrative market. According to Fulop, the firm’s wide range of qualified materials is “one of the largest in the industry,” and he emphasized that it remains “decades ahead in this area.”

Additionally, the firm has developed two new biocompatible resins called the E-Dent 1000 and E-Denture Pro, which are currently undergoing 510k clearance. Fulop described both as “industry-leading materials” in terms of flexibility and strength, which are capable of yielding novel devices such as same-day arch implants, that “completely revolutionize the market.”

Elsewhere, the two companies have also identified chrome cobalt dentures and jewelry as other areas of opportunity, where combining their technologies could provide them with better market penetration.

“Following the acquisition, our dental clients can now get the parts they want through Desktop’s technology,” Siblani told analysts during the call’s Q&A.

“We also see a lot of synergy in the jewelry market,” he added. “We’ve been a leader in that trade for the last fifteen years because of our material set, and the resolution we can deliver. [Desktop’s technology] will now be translated to some of our larger casting customers, who can go directly to using binder jetting technology for printing gold.” 

Shop System with user

Embracing bioprinting technology 

EnvisionTEC has invested heavily in biofabrication via its Bioplotter platform, and Desktop’s acquisition also allows it to access an emerging market in 3D bioprinted implants. The Bioplotter itself is capable of printing biocompatible parts for medical use within bone regeneration, soft tissue surgery, optimized drug release, and in future, fabricating organs. 

Given the technology’s relatively early stage of development, it has often been applied within R&D, and over 1,000 major publications have credited the machine with assisting scientific studies. However, bioprinting is also increasingly being used to fabricate cartilage tissues for injured athletes, and this is something that Desktop now intends to explore. 

Fulop emphasized on the call that EnvisionTEC was also a “biofabrication pioneer,” and that the acquisition provided it with “another opportunity for channel leverage in a nascent market.” Although Fulop conceded that the technology isn’t ready for end-use application yet, he expressed excitement about its “incredible potential” over the next decade. 

“It [biofabrication] has now matured in the research community to the point where we’re going to see cartilage and bone regeneration in areas such as sports medicine,” explained Fulop. “Those aren’t going to be next year, but by the end of the decade it’s going to be a major technology, and it’s something we’re going to continue to invest in.”

The deal’s industry impact 

One obvious result of the merger is that Desktop Metal has gained access to a new DLP vertical, something it views as critical to its ‘Additive 2.0’ strategy of mass-producing polymer parts. Although the move puts Desktop in competition with existing manufacturers such as Carbon, Fulop maintained that in EnvisionTEC, it has found a “diamond in the rough.” 

Desktop Metal’s acquisition also raises the question of whether it represents an ongoing trend, and if the 3D printing market is beginning to consolidate. The ongoing pandemic has hindered the recent revenue growth of many small additive companies and prompted their share prices to fall, but this has created purchasing opportunities for the better-financed firms. 

Stratasys, for instance, acquired DLP manufacturer Origin for $100 million last year. Elsewhere, 3D printed electronics producer Nano Dimension has been steadily accumulating capital, and the company has now raised over $1 billion in funding, encouraging speculation that it too is lining-up a potential industry acquisition. 

Please do read the original article published on the 18th of January by Paul Hanaphy here.

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Massivit3D to go public on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange via IPO at $200 million valuation

Israeli large-format 3D printing firm Massivit3D is set to go public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) imminently, sources “close to the matter” have told Globes

Before the Initial Public Offering (IPO) goes ahead, market sources believe that Massivit3D aims to raise $50 million in funding, in a deal valuing the company at $200 million. Although it’s currently unclear where this investment will come from, interior design firm Klil Industries and 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys have provided funding in the past. 

“In future, one of the main barriers to adopting 3D printing will be speed,” said Erez Zimerman, CEO of Massivit3D. “That’s why Massivit has developed our technology, in which we can print at least 30 times faster than related systems, and this will allow more and more companies to adopt 3D printing on the industrial side.”

Massivit’s 3D printing technology 

Founded in 2013 and based in the Israeli city of Lod, Massivit3D manufactures and markets large-format 3D printers, in addition to an accompanying array of materials and software. The company’s product range is essentially designed to enable clients in the engineering and architectural markets to create scale one models and parts quickly and cost-effectively. 

Massivit3D’s newest system, the ‘Massivit3D 10000,’ is set to be launched in fall 2021, and is built to address the tooling requirements of those in the automotive and aerospace sectors. The printer operates using the firm’s Cast-In-Motion (CIM) technology, in which a gel is cured, cast into shape, and immersed in water to allow sacrificial materials to break off. 

The machine features a large build volume, that enables users to fabricate complex tooling designs in vast numbers, while accelerating the process of iterating new product designs. Although Massivit3D hasn’t specified the exact build area of its upcoming machine, it does claim that it’s “at least 30 times faster” that similar casting-based systems.

At present, the company holds 52 technology patents, and it has received five contingent purchase orders from clients in the U.S, U.K, France and Taiwan. With its application to be listed on the TASE, Massivit3D is now attempting to accelerate the commercialization of its technology, and expand further into the architecture and renewable energy markets.

The $200 million TASE IPO 

Given that Massivit3D isn’t a publicly-listed company just yet, there’s very little information about its finances in the public domain. However, it’s understood that the firm has raised around $20-$30 million in previous funding rounds, with investors including Klil’s Zvi Neta and Tzuri Daboosh as well as Stratasys. 

Whether Massivit3D’s IPO is financed by these investors again or the company finds new backers remains to be seen, but it has been confirmed that equity firm Poalim IBI will underwrite the offering. Massivit3D’s valuation appears to be based on its earnings and technological potential, and it reportedly turned over $50 million in revenue from 2017 to 2019. 

Although it has also been reported that the company’s sales in 2020 were impacted by the pandemic, it’s now understood to be entering revenue recovery like the rest of the 3D printing industry. 3D Systems, for instance, recently posted strong initial Q4 2020 results, while PyroGenesis’ financial guidance projected growth of over 300%.

Massivit3D was also co-founded by Gershon Miller, a seasoned entrepreneur who has sold firms like Idanit to Scitex before, and most recently sold Objet to Stratasys. As a result, the company’s offering appears to be in safe hands, while more generally, its progress reflects a growing industry enthusiasm for IPOs. 

Desktop Metal went public on the NYSE last year after a merger with Trine Acquisition, which saw the company raise $580 million in capital, effectively funding its $300 million acquisition of EnvisionTEC. Israeli tech firms have also been active on the TASE recently, with additive food company Meat-Tech 3D filing for an IPO in November 2019. 

3D printing on a grand scale

Massivit3D isn’t the only company that manufactures large-format 3D printers, and a range of other scalable systems have developed in recent years. 

Intech Additive Solutions, for instance, has launched its large-format iFusion LF series of metal 3D printers. The machines’ 450 x 450 x 450mm build volumes and broad metal compatibility are geared towards Indian manufacturers operating in the aerospace and automotive sectors. 

Last year at Formnext Connect, German 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions launched its large-format challenger with its new NXG XII 600 system. The machine includes a huge 600 x 600 x 600 mm build envelope and twelve optimized 1 KW lasers, that allow it to address the needs of large-volume serial production clients. 

Elsewhere, in a more application-focused approach, 3D Systems is developing the “world’s largest 3D printer” for the U.S. Army. The machine’s 1m x 1m x 600mm build area is designed to enable the fabrication of parts that address the ammunition, vehicle, helicopter, and missile defense demands of the Armed Forces. 

Please do read the original article by Paul Hanaphy here.

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PRESS RELEASE: Desktop Metal to Acquire EnvisionTEC, Entering Market for Volume Production Polymer Additive Manufacturing

EnvisionTEC’s Category-leading Product and IP Portfolios Expand Desktop Metal’s Reach to Photopolymer 3D Printing, Digital Biofabrication, and Digital Casting Markets, Offering Go-to-Market Synergies Via Robust, Vertically-Focused Dental and Jewelry Channels

BOSTON, MA and DEARBORN, MI (January 15, 2021) – Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire EnvisionTEC, a leading global provider of volume production photopolymer 3D printing solutions for end-use parts, for total consideration of $300 million, consisting of a combination of cash and newly issued Desktop Metal stock. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Following completion of the acquisition, EnvisionTEC will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Desktop Metal. EnvisionTEC founder Al Siblani will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the EnvisionTEC business.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Al and the EnvisionTEC team to bring significant growth to the additive market,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Desktop Metal. “EnvisionTEC is a true pioneer and responsible for many of the leading technologies widely used today to produce end-use photopolymer parts through additive manufacturing. Together, Desktop Metal and EnvisionTEC have an opportunity to shape the future of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 and transform how parts are made around the world. I look forward to welcoming EnvisionTEC to the Desktop Metal team to deliver world-class additive manufacturing solutions that help make our customers successful.”

“I am excited and honored to partner with Ric and the Desktop Metal team to deliver end-use parts in both metal and polymers as we implement Ric’s vision on the future of Additive Manufacturing 2.0,” said Siblani. “Bringing the two companies together will deliver a global footprint of customers that can cross-benefit from our combined technology platforms. I believe we have many opportunities to scale the business, disrupt traditional manufacturing, expand our customer base, and create value for our shareholders.”

Acquiring a Category Leader with a History of Innovation

As the original inventor of digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing technology, EnvisionTEC has one of the strongest intellectual property portfolios in the area-wide photopolymer 3D printing market, counting over 140 issued and pending patents, which Desktop Metal believes includes blocking intellectual property.

Today, EnvisionTEC has over 5,000 customers across a broad range of industries, including medical devices, jewelry, automotive, aerospace, and biofabrication. In addition, the company is a leader in the dental market, more than tripling the number of Envision One dental shipments from 2019 to 2020 and with over 1,000 dental customers now using its printers for end-use parts. Key customers include Cartier, Celgene, Ford, Hasbro, Oral Arts, Stuller, and Smile Direct Club. In addition to extensive customer adoption, EnvisionTEC has a broad library of over 190 materials, featuring photopolymer resins with material properties in-line with or exceeding those of thermoplastics and multiple FDA-listed and 510(K)-cleared resins for the manufacturing of medical devices. The company augments its robust proprietary material development efforts with a selectively open business model, leveraging relationships with major chemical companies such as Henkel Loctite, DSM Somos, Detax, Keystone, and Arkema to sell third-party, industry-validated resins for use with its additive manufacturing platforms.

Expanding a Unified Product Portfolio Across Metals, Composites, and Polymers

EnvisionTEC brings a compelling product portfolio for producing photopolymers under Desktop Metal’s umbrella, including the new Envision One and Xtreme 8K printing platforms designed for cost-effective volume production. The Xtreme 8K platform, which is expected to begin commercial shipments in the first quarter of 2021, features the largest build area among production-grade DLP printers. The Xtreme 8K leverages patented projection array technology and is capable of delivering build speeds up to 100 times those of legacy thermoplastic 3D printers (1) and at a fraction of the hardware price of comparable solutions. The Envision One platform, which includes models for dental, medical, and industrial segments and for high temperature resins, leverages patented continuous digital light manufacturing (cDLM) and domeless basement technologies to deliver high-speed, end-use parts production with exceptional accuracy.

EnvisionTEC is also a pioneer in digital biofabrication additive manufacturing with its Bioplotter platform, which supports the production of biocompatible parts for medical applications such as bone regeneration, cartilage regeneration, soft tissue fabrication, drug release, and organ printing.

Scaling Distribution and Access to New Verticals Through Complementary Channels

The acquisition more than doubles Desktop Metal’s global distribution network and increases its geographic sales capabilities to 68 countries around the world. EnvisionTEC adds a robust set of vertically-focused partners in the dental and jewelry markets, which Desktop Metal plans to leverage to sell its metal additive manufacturing solutions. In addition, Desktop Metal’s horizontally-focused channel partners will provide an outlet for distributing EnvisionTEC products and scaling its sales, particularly in industrial, education, and R&D segments.

Leveraging Desktop Metal Technology to Advance Digital Casting Solutions

Through this acquisition, Desktop Metal will gain digital casting capabilities via EnvisionTEC’s industrial-scale robotic additive manufacturing (RAM) product platform. EnvisionTEC’s RAM systems, which are available for as little as one-fourth of the price of slower legacy alternatives, use patented technology to produce mold cores and investment casting patterns for foundry applications using either Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) or silica sand. Desktop Metal plans to significantly advance the performance of this platform with the proprietary and patent-pending Single Pass Jetting™ technology originally developed for its Production System™ to drive productivity enhancements and improve part economics across builds as large as 1.8 x 0.9 x. 0.9 meters.

Conference Call Information

Desktop Metal will host a conference call on January 15, 2021 at 8:15 a.m. ET to discuss the transaction. The conference call will be webcast simultaneously to the public through a link on the Investor Relations section of Desktop Metal’s website, www.ir.desktopmetal.com.

(1) Based on print time estimates for professional and industrial extrusion-based 3D printers and using comparable layer thickness and materials.

 

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 www.desktopmetal.com​.

Desktop Metal believes that it can improve the performance of EnvisionTEC’s RAM platform by integrating its proprietary SPJ technology. Photo via Desktop Metal.
Desktop Metal’s acquisition of EnvisionTEC could enable it to access the growing 3D printed dental and medical device markets. Photo via PostProcess.

About EnvisionTEC

EnvisionTEC is a leading global provider of professional-grade 3D printing solutions. Founded in 2002 with its pioneering commercial DLP printing technology, EnvisionTEC now sells more than 30 printer configurations based on five distinct technologies that build objects from digital design files. The company’s premium 3D printers serve a variety of medical, professional and industrial markets, and are valued for precision, surface quality, functionality and speed.

For more information, visit www.envisiontec.com

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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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