Ahead of the first customer installation in early 2019, Desktop Metal has now announced several major upgrades and expanded capabilities to their much-anticipated metal 3D system, the Production System.
Powered by Single Pass Jetting technology, the Production System is built for mass production of metal parts as they look to further shift the industry beyond prototyping to full-scale metal manufacturing.
Billed to be 4x faster than any binder jetting competitor and offering a 100x speed improvement over any laser-based system, Desktop Metal has now further expanded on the technology and capabilities:
- Accelerated printing speeds to 12,000 cm3 per hour.
- An expanded build volume of 750 x 330 x 250 mm which represents a 225 percent improvement.
- Two full-width print bars, advanced powder spreaders and anti-ballistic system that work to spread powder and print in a single quick pass across the build area – making it the most sophisticated single pass inkjet printhead ever installed in a binder jet system.
- Use of 32,768 piezo inkjet nozzles that enables the broadest range of binder chemistries to print an array of metals – including tool steels, low alloy steels, titanium, and aluminum – at a rate of 3 billion drops per second.
- First and only binder jet system with an industrial inert environment, including gas recycling and solvent recovery, to safely print reactive metals in mass production.
- Capability to print more than 60 kilograms of metal parts per hour.
Apart from showcasing the improved Production System at formnext 2018, Desktop Metal will also preview metal parts and applications that were printed with it to show the system’s capabilities.
Spauger Bit – Simplified Manufacturing for Complex Metal Parts
The spauger bit features complex geometry that requires multiple manufacturing steps to produce traditionally, including time-consuming, dedicated setups for milling, turning and grinding operations.
The Production System has revolutionized the process by reducing the number of steps in spauger manufacturing from more than 20 steps to four, and producing as many as 1,400 spauger bits per four-hour build.
High-variety Manufacturing – Mass Serialization in High-Mix/High Volume Production
The Production System is capable of mass customizing batches of generative designed gears at varying amounts with mass production efficiency. Instead of needing to post-process each part using laser or electrochemical etching, ink marking, or dot peening, parts can now be printed with serial numbers – or other customization detail – in place, rending an entire build volume of unique parts with no need for post-processing.
Print-in-Place Hinge – Assembly Consolidation for High-Volume Production
Standard hinge designs, like ones used with eye-glasses, typically consist of two leaves that are bound by, and revolve around, a central pin. Assembly of these small components can be time-consuming in high volume, and often require precision engineering tools and equipment to manufacture.
Print more than 45,000 pre-assembled 12x5x6 mm eye-glass hinges in a single four-hour build. The Production System is able to print more than 45,000 pre-assembled 12 x 5 x 6 mm eye-glass hinges in a single four-hour build. The hinge featured at formnext has been manufactured with the pin printed directly into the knuckle of the mating leaf – eliminating assembly time and reducing risk of disassembly with use over time.
Among Desktop Metal’s early Pioneer customers, a Fortune 500 company is scheduled to receive the first installation of the Production System in Q1 2019. Further installations at major automotive, heavy duty, and leading metal parts manufacturers will follow throughout 2019, with broad availability expect to happen in 2020.