Known for their pioneering plastic 3D printing technologies like FDM and PolyJet for decades, Stratasys is set to pioneer a new chapter in their illustrious history by going into metal 3D printing, with their proprietary technology called Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM).
LPM aims to deliver cost-effective, production-grade metal parts for mid-to-low volume production. Incorporating the company’s proprietary jetting technology and commonly-used powder metallurgy, they will start with aluminum powders with more materials to be introduced shortly.
At a press meeting helmed by Andy Middleton, President of Stratasys EMEA on the first day of formnext 2018, he described the new proprietary process as a “breakthrough” metal technology.
Built to drive improved efficiency and cost savings, LPM utilizes standard Powder Metallurgy (PM) alloys, that comes with mechanical properties that have high accuracy and controlled shrinkage, as well as extremely fast throughput. With the cost reductions, LPM can not only compete with current metal AM technologies but also machining.
The new technology was a result of internal development by Stratasys over the past few years to not only transform the current metals additive manufacturing landscape but also present a viable alternative to typical production methods that are costly and time-consuming. While there was no live demonstration of the new LPM technology at formnext 2018, you can however check out this short video to see how it works in theory.
While specifications and launch dates weren’t revealed, the technology is expected to be made available to some customers in Europe, potentially in the automotive industry sometime in 2019.