Two leading manufacturing centres of excellence in the UK have been named as the first to install additive manufacturing technology developed by Desktop Metal, a company committed to making metal 3D printing accessible to global manufacturers and engineers. World top 100 academic establishment the University of Sheffield, and global engineering solutions firm Weir Group, are the first UK organisations to implement the Desktop Metal Studio System, working with UK reseller and platinum partner Tri-Tech 3D.
The Studio System is designed to provide an office-friendly metal 3D printing solution that can allow for rapid prototyping at low volume and cost, while providing users with the ability to efficiently produce tooling, jigs and fixtures, features which were previously cost prohibitive. The Studio System has already had a major impact on the additive manufacturing arena, with companies such as Ford, Google ATAP, Goodyear, BMW Group, John Zink Hamworthy Combustion and ProtoLabs, all becoming early adopters of the platform and attracting encouraging interest from fast followers. Based on 2019 worldwide benchmarking data collated by Desktop Metal, many parts produced using the Studio System demonstrated drastic cost reductions – some by as much as 90% relative to machining and selective laser melting (SLM) – as well as speed in fabrication, producing parts in days instead of weeks or months.
The University of Sheffield is working with the Tri-Tech 3D team to install their Desktop Metal Studio System at the Royce Translational Centre. Royce@Sheffield is part of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and is a major partner of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials. It comprises the Royce Translational Centre (RTC), and the Royce Discovery Centre, which is currently being built at the University’s city centre campus.
Royce Translational Centre’s Director – Prof Iain Todd, commented:
“We at Royce@Sheffield are very excited to receive our Desktop Metal Studio System. Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) is a critical part of the strategy for many high-value manufacturing sectors, as they look to reduce material waste and increase productivity. ALM covers many technologies, and with the Studio System, we are expanding our set of advanced 3D metal printers, which already includes electron and laser beam powder beds, and blown powder methods. Our industry partners range from start-ups to multinational aeronautical manufacturers: for them we represent a valuable missing link between small-scale laboratory metals processing and industrial scale manufacturing. The Desktop Metal Studio System keeps us at the cutting edge of near-net shape manufacturing capabilities in the UK.”
Weir Group Head of Additive Manufacturing – Sozon Tsopanos, commented:
“The additive manufacturing arena is dynamic, growing rapidly as a market, and presents exciting opportunities for innovative companies such as Weir. We are continuing to partner with world-class organisations as we proactively develop our additive manufacturing offering. The addition of this versatile system complements our existing capabilities at Weir Additive Manufacturing Solutions, allowing us to explore, prototype, test and commercialise components and tooling that will deliver significant benefits for our Mining and Oil & Gas customers globally.”
Since its founding in 2015, Desktop Metal has rapidly grown to become a leading systems developer for additive manufacturing technologies, with the Studio System attracting business interest all over the world. Tri-Tech 3D, the authorised UK Desktop Metal reseller, is targeting the rollout to other UK installations in 2019 and beyond.
Colin Cater, sales manager at Tri-Tech 3D commented:
“These first installations lead the way in a new direction for metal 3D printing, making metal parts available and more accessible to a wider range of customers. It complements all those currently using FDM, that require a metal part instead.”