Stratasys Reveals Plan to Develop Metal 3D Printing Platform

Stratasys has announced the development of a new metal additive manufacturing platform that will aim to displace conventional methods for short-run manufacturing. 

Over the past couple of years, 3D printing companies like Desktop Metal and Markforged have transformed the metal additive manufacturing market. Once confined to industrial-sized and exorbitantly priced machines, metal 3D printing is now more accessible and affordable than ever before.

Most of the companies that are currently pioneering this metal metamorphosis are relatively fresh faces. However, one additive manufacturing stalwart is now looking to throw its hat into the metal 3D printing ring. This week, Stratasys announced that it would start developing a new metal additive manufacturing platform. The company is aiming to use this system to displace conventional methods for short-run production.

“We are extremely excited to announce our development of this new additive manufacturing platform, targeting short-run production applications for a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, machining, and metal foundries. We believe that this platform will meaningfully expand our addressable markets for the long term and provide our customers with an effective means to realize the values of additive manufacturing for powder metallurgy applications,” said Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys.

At the moment, details are sparse about Stratasys’ forthcoming metal 3D printing system. However, they have dropped a few bread crumbs for us to follow. Here’s what we know so far.

Stratasys HQ in Israel.

Stratasys Announces Development of Metal 3D Printing Platform

According to Stratasys, the metal 3D printing platform has been under development for the past several years. Although the exact process has not been revealed, the company states that it will incorporate its proprietary jetting technology.

The metal 3D printing system will take the advantages of additive manufacturing and applies them to short-run production. To accomplish this, Stratasys is attempting to overcome the existing material limitations that plague other metal 3D printer platforms.

With this new technology, Stratasys is planning to offer customers metal 3D printed parts made from commonly used powder metallurgy. The 3D printing company will start by offering aluminum at a low cost-per-part and throughput. Stratasys is also working to integrate easy post-processing and high part quality into the platform.

What we do know, at the moment, is that the newly announced 3D printing platform will incorporate Stratasys’ PolyJet process. To understand how this would work with metal additive manufacturing, we imagine it will be similar to Desktop Metal’s recently released Production System.

This industrial 3D printer from Desktop Metal uses a binder jetting technique, depositing metal powder with a binding material. Once the part is finished, it’s placed into a furnace that eliminates the binder, solidifying the metal particles together.

Strangely enough, last year, the two companies struck up a partnership that would allow Stratasys’ extensive network of resellers to sell Desktop Metal’s metal 3D printing technology. Now, the 3D printing titan os poised to unleash its own metal additive manufacturing hardware onto the growing market.

With over 30 years in the industry and a well-established binder jetting technology, Stratasys seems to be banking on the idea that they can transfer its expertise and technology towards new metallic horizons. Stratasys will reveal more information about the metal 3D printing platform at the upcoming RAPID + TCT 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Conference, which is taking place from April 23-26 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Object Connex 500 is a Stratasys 3D printer that uses PolyJet technology.

Source: Stratasys 

License: The text of “Stratasys Reveals Plan to Develop Metal 3D Printing Platform” by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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GE reveals 3D Printer for one meter metal objects and system will scale to larger sizes

GE revealed the beta version of the world’s largest 3D printer for metals, which uses a laser and a powder bed to make parts. It is capable of printing parts as large as 1 meter in diameter directly from a computer file by fusing together thin layers of metal powder with a 1-kilowatt laser. The machine has the potential to build even bigger parts, due to the nature of the scalable technology. Customers are already requesting machines with build volumes of more than 1 meter cubed.

GE used the beta machine to print a jet engine combustor liner.

GE uses proprietary technology to control powder dosing, reducing powder consumption by 69 percent compared to traditional machines “on its first attempt.” The machine will also print faster than today’s machines. GE can configure the design and allows customers to add more lasers.

The new printer will also take advantage of Predix, GE’s software platform for the industrial internet, to monitor the printing process and also the health of the machine. Concept Laser’s new M2 printers already come with data analytics using Predix to monitor machine utilization and production and look for potential problems before they occur.

Several GE businesses are already using additive manufacturing to make and develop new products. GE Aviation is printing fuel nozzles for the LEAP family of jet engines. The company is also building the Advanced Turboprop, the first commercial aircraft engine in history with a large portion of components made by additive manufacturing methods, which include 3D printing. The designers reduced 855 separate parts down to just 12. As a result, more than a third of the engine is 3D printed. GE Healthcare, GE Power and the oil- and gas-field services company Baker Hughes are also using the technology.

Autodesk Reveals Open-Source 3D Printer and Software Platform

This article has been tagged to these categories:

Autodesk Printer

by SPAR Point Group staff | May 20, 2014

Last week during its earnings call, Autodesk made two big announcements. The first was for an open-software 3D printing platform named Spark that is freely licensable by hardware manufacturers or other interested parties. The second announcement was for Autodesk’s first 3D printer. The printer is intended to “a reference implementation” for Spark. 

On In the Fold, an Autodesk blog, President and CEO Carl Bass explained that the design of the printer “will be made publicly available to allow for further development and experimentation. The printer will be able to use a broad range of materials, made by us and by others, and we look forward to lots of exploration into new materials.”

Autodesk hasn’t released any pricing information yet, but Bass says that Spark and the 3D printer will be available within the year. For more information on how Autodesk hopes these products will help jumpstart the 3D printing industry (or to sign up and indicate interest in using Spark), see Bass’ blog post here.