Desktop Metal unveiled 2 new printers and whole new subset of additive manufacturing yesterday. Desktop Metal previously made the news because of its investment deals. The company has revealed the first line of printers to feature their Microwave Enhanced Sintering technique. The technique enables printers to merge metals and alloys to create structures with a wide range of materials. The printers can work with steel, titanium, aluminum, copper and many other metals.
Desktop Metal have introduced one large-scale “production system” and one desktop scale “studio system”. While there is a massive interest in metal printers, they are difficult to produce because metal prints require immense heating. Due to the high melting point of most metals, manufacturers have not been able to produce desktop printers capable of managing metal prints. This desktop scale size is what makes the studio version so interesting.
Desktop Metal first rose to prominence through its major deals with companies like Google. The company managed to raise $97 million in less than 18 months in a landmark series of deals.
Microwave Enhanced Sintering
Microwave enhanced sintering is a metal 3D printing method that uses microwave tech to mould metals and alloys. The printer does this by putting down layers of metal and ceramic powders mixed in soft polymers. This is, in many ways, similar to FFF / FDM printing. These materials are stored in cartridges that are laid down in the desired shape of the print.
Next, once the printer mixes the materials they are cooked in a furnace. In the furnace, intense heat allows for the polymer to burn off, leaving only the desired materials. Ordinarily, this sort of process creates noxious fumes, which is one of the many drawbacks of traditional metal printing. Luckily, Desktop Metal installed charcoal filters to help detoxify the gas.
Microwave enhanced sintering bonds the metals together at a high temperature without melting them. As a result, the overall print does not lose its shape during the process. Another advantage of this system is that it does not require a water cooling system or intricate ventilation. It is also far cheaper. In this regard, the device can actually be thought of as 2 devices: the printer that makes the shape and the furnace that post-processes it and cuts out the excess materials.
|Size||60 x 49 x 30 in (150 x 125 x 75 cm)|
|Weight||214 lbs (97 kg)|
|Power||120V, 20A, 50-60Hz|
|Print technology||Bound Metal Deposition (BMD)|
|Build volume||12 x 8 x 8 in (30.5 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm)|
|Max part dimensions (post-shrink)||10 x 6.7 x 6.7 in (25.5 x 17 x 17 cm)|
|Display||UI 7” Touchscreen Display|
|Connectivity||WiFi and Ethernet|
|Print Heads||Dual, Quick-release Print Heads|
|Nozzle diameter||0.4 mm|
|Motion System||Precision ball screws|
|Minimum layer height||50 μm|
|Build rate||1 in³/hr (16 cm³/hr)|
|Maximum part weight||22 lbs (10 kg )|
|Material Storage||Hot Swappable DM Cartridges|
|Support structures||Separable supports|
|Build Plate||Heated glass build plate|
|Build plate temperature||Up to 120 °C (248 °F)|
|Build plate leveling||Automatic|
|Build chamber||Heated, up to 50 °C (122 °F)|
|Supplied Software||DM Cloud|
|Supported File Types||STL, IGES, JT, STEP, VDA-FS, U3D, VRML, Native file types|
|Local Cloud Support||Optional|
|Furnace System||Microwave Enhanced Hybrid Metal Printer|
|Peak Temperature||1400°C (2552 F°)|
|Furnace Volume||12 x 8 x 8 in (30.5 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm)|
|Material on Retort||Carbon|
|Gas connection||2 x 900L onboard canisters + 2 connections house gas (optional)|
|Gas types (material dependent)||Forming gas Nitrogen, Argon|
|Part trays||Adjustable-height ceramic part trays (optional add-on)|
|External Dimensions||29.7 in x 51.2 in x 62.2 in (75.4cm x 130cm x 158 cm)|
|Height in open position||82.3 in (209cm)|
|Weight||500 kg (1102 lbs)|
|Network||WiFi and Ethernet|
|Power||208V 3-phase, 30A|
|Pinch point handling||Light curtain protection|
|Fail safes||RFID-enabled gas tracking, thermal interlocks, frontal E-stop|