Additive Manufacturing

NOV 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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NOVEMBER 2018 Additive Manufacturing TECH REVIEW 70 Metal 3D Printing System Supports Greater Productivity Desktop Metal has introduced the Studio System+, combining the features of the original Studio System with greater functionality to print small metal parts with high- er resolution. The original Studio System is a three-part solution including printer, debinder and furnace that uses Desktop Metal's cloud-based software to manage the workflow for printing metal parts. The Studio System+ incorporates new print capabilities as well as hardware updates for increased throughput. A new swappable high-resolution printhead with sup- porting software profiles allows for smaller parts with finer features and an improved surface finish. This creates opportunities for new geometries and applications with the ability to print parts similar to those produced with metal injection molding (MIM)—parts featuring sintered voxels as small as 240 microns in XY by 45 microns in Z, the company says. The system can produce parts for consumer electronics, medical devices and automotive applications. Additional features include an in-chamber build plate camera to capture a live stream video of the part as it prints for progress monitoring and software up- dates for mold lock prevention, part positioning and fleet management. New stackable shelving increases the capacity of the debinder and furnace for greater throughput. A retort box design promotes thermal uniformity for higher- quality parts. The system can connect to external gas tanks or a house gas line, reducing the cost of consumables and cost-per-part. The company has also introduced Studio Fleet, a custom configurable solution designed for low- to medium-volume production of high-quality, complex metal parts using Studio System+ technology. The Studio Fleet is available in two configurations: 3:1:1 consists of three printers, one debind- er and one furnace, while 5:2:1 leverages five printers, 2 debinders and 1 furnace. Medical Polyurethane Offers Biocompatiblity Carbon has launched Medical Polyurethane 100 (MPU 100), its first medical-grade material. This white polymer resin provides a combination of mechanical strength, biocompatibility and sterilizability, making it optimal for components of medical systems, skin- contact devices, drug-contact devices and single-use medical device appli- cations, the company says. With the growing need for medical tools that are easy to produce, versatile, and also strong and durable enough to withstand demanding medical environments, MPU 100 offers a solution for producing end-use parts such as complex adaptors for diagnostic analysis systems, textured instrument handles, single-use instruments and bioprocessing components. According to the company, each of these applications brings distinct manufacturing opportunities, such as targeting better user experiences with complex geometries and textured surfaces, consol- idating multi-part assemblies into one printed part, and pursuing a more customized portfolio with low-volume, high-mix part production. The MPU 100 material is engineering grade with abra- sion resistance, tested to USP VI and ISO 10993-5 and -10 biocompatibility. It is compatible with ethylene oxide, e-beam and gamma sterilization methods, and maintains its biocompatibility post-sterilization. The material is also compatible with common disinfectants. Nanoscale 3D Printer Layers Metal Particles Nanogrande is launching its MPL-1 additive manufacturing system. The company, which develops and sells AM solu- tions for different materials, is introducing a patented method of particle assembly with this 3D printer. The MPL-1 makes it possible to assemble metal particles of different sizes, shapes and types. According to the company, current 3D printing technologies are limited in their ability to layer particles smaller than 20 microns. The MPL-1 3D printer is said to enable uniform layering and controlled packing den- sity of metal particles smaller than 5 microns. The nanoscale printer is designed for use by manufacturers of high-precision components and micro parts.

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