Stratasys offers preview of upcoming metal AM technology

The global leader in additive manufacturing, Stratasys, made an surprise announcement 2 months ago that they would be introducing their new metal 3D printing technology at RAPID + TCT 2018.

Although there was no official unveiling of it at the show, there were metal 3D printed samples on display and bits of information that still piqued the interest of many.

Stratasys Metal AM manifold station

The following are takeaways from the event’s keynote address on 23 April at RAPID + TCT 2018 presented by Phil Reeves, VP of Strategic Consulting at Stratasys:

Challenges

  • The global usage of Aluminium in 2016 was 75 million tonnes
  • Current AM processes can’t handle Aluminium well because of limitations in speed, difficulty of usage with lasers, contamination by binders, infiltration difficulty

Technology

  • Developed internally for past 3 years by a group of people that have almost 20 years of traditional inkjet printing background
  • Focuses on cost reduction, operational simplicity, and made for short-run production
  • Utilizes proprietary jetting technology that promises to be very high speed and very good metallurgy
  • Uses commonly used powder metallurgy starting with Aluminium
  • Designed as a production solution
  • Developed with key partners from the aerospace, automotive, defense, industrial machinery, power tools, sports equipment and white goods industries

Stratasys Metal AM Sample

Industry standard materials and workflow

  • 80% reduction in cost per part of aluminum components
  • Uses traditional metal powder feedstock
  • Highly simplified support removal in minutes
  • Eliminates complex support design or part orientation
  • Throughput up to 9X faster than lasers
  • High-density green-state parts
  • Printed parts exhibit 97+% density, and increases to 99.9+% once sintered without going through any hot isostatic pressing-like process

Who is it for

  • Built and optimized for industries that require sizeable volumes of pre-production prototypes or end-use parts by cutting out the expensive tooling process

With the new technology, Stratasys hopes to change the usual perspective of people thinking more about what the process does and the parts it produces, rather than what the process is.

Stratasys Metal AM Samples

More information about the new machine and how the technology works are expected to be released at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2018 in September.