How does Desktop Metal Studio System compare against Metal Injection Molding?

Clare Scott from 3DPrint.com recently interviewed Desktop Metal’s VP of Product, Larry Lyons, to learn more about Desktop Metal’s Studio System and how it compares against Metal Injection Molding (MIM).

So, what is the Studio System+ and Studio Fleet? They offer enhanced features for metal prototyping and low volume production. Engineers and designers who seek to metal 3D print with small parts or parts with fine details can achieve a higher-resolution, with a customizable system configuration for greater process efficiency and throughput. The new Studio System+ retains the key features of the original Studio System and allows customers to build to scale.

Extruder nozzle.
Extruder nozzle. (Photo: Desktop Metal).

It is the first time that on-demand metal 3D printing is able to deliver accessible and scalable manufacturing that adapts to diverse business needs, part requirements, production volumes, and cost constraints. The Studio System is available in 45 countries, and international shipments will commence in mid-2019.

Desktop Metal’s automotive customers are targeting parts across the entire product life cycle. For the Studio System, most applications are in the product development, prototyping and tooling (jigs/fixtures/ molds) areas where lower volumes and quick turnaround times complement the Studio’s capabilities.

For the Production System, which will be available in 2019, early applications are in the replacement/aftermarket parts, customization and serial production where volumes requirements range from mid-to-high throughput. Many customers are developing end-use parts that will appear in new cars (currently unavailable in the market) and will deliver higher performance at a lower cost than traditionally manufactured cars.

Built to scale, Desktop Metal Studio Fleet can be customized to meet desired requirements for low volume, on-demand runs..
Built to scale, Desktop Metal Studio Fleet can be customized to meet desired requirements for low volume, on-demand runs.

Studio System vs MIM

The Studio System takes on average 2-3 days to produce the initial part compared to MIM, which takes several weeks or months due to the mold that needs to be designed and manufactured before MIM can commence. This reduces the time taken to get an initial prototype for testing and validation work compared to traditional MIM. Furthermore, customers can iterate on their design and test each iteration before ordering the mold to be manufactured, which saves thousands in costly mold changes if a change is required.

Generally, MIM companies will not bid on any job that is below 10,000 units due to the cost to manufacture the mold. The Studio System provides a more cost-effective solution for low-to-mid volume applications in MIM when leveraging the throughput and cost advantages of a Studio Fleet installation.

3D printed metal dragon ring.
3D printed metal dragon ring.

Visit our Desktop Metal  Studio System+ 3D printer product page for more information. You can also contact us via our contact forminfo@creatz3d.com, or +65 6631 8555 for any inquiries.