Desktop Metal, a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, announced that the Shop System, a metal binder jetting system 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 Groupe in France, Wall Colmonoy Limited in the UK, Alpha Precision Group in the USA and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) in Hong Kong, are leveraging high-quality binder jetting technology to print end-use 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 brings 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 cost-effective, high resolution mid-volume production solutions in the industry. Its high-speed, single-pass print engine introduces high-quality binder jetting to the market of machine shops, casting foundries, and powder metal component suppliers,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “With the Shop System, engineers and plant operators can 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.
- 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. The scope of its training offer covers industrial, technical as well as cross-functional skills.
“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.”
- A.C., based in France, E.A.C., 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, Cosmind 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 Desktop Metal 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. Engineers, inventors, scientists, businesses and end users that develop products, equipment, machines, structures or processes to meet the needs of their business and customers, rely on ISE’s engineering solutions. 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 leader on metal additive manufacturing development, with different platforms covering nearly all the direct and indirect technologies as LPBF, WAAM and metal binder jetting dedicated to the transfer to industrials. CETIM is focused on the transfer of technologies to the industry, including the full cycle life, from the design process to the industrialization. CETIM has been involved in additive manufacturing for more than 15 years and has been developing specifically the metal binder jetting technology for five years.
“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 high-resolution 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. Pricing starts at $166,500 for the 4L printer (350 x 220 x 50 mm) and up to $241,500 for the 16L printer (350 x 220 x 200 mm). 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 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.
Filed Under: Make Parts Fast, Molding • injection molding components