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Digital Metal Launches Fully Automated No-Hand Production Concept for Metal 3D Printers

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Oct 15, 2018

Swedish company, Digital Metal, has launched a fully automated no-hand production concept for its high-precision binder jetting 3D metal printers.

Digital Metal, the Swedish company known for producing small, high-volume components using high-precision 3D metal printers, is taking its process one step further. The company recently announced in a press release that it’s launching a fully automated, no-hand production concept.

Since 2013, Digital Metal has produced more than 300,000 components using its unique binder-jetting technology. The company also adds that several Digital Metal DM P2500 printers are in serial production producing series of up to 40,000 components.

Such printing capabilities have piqued the interest of companies in automotive and aerospace industries leading to agreements between “major European players” and Digital Metal earlier this year.

Now, a  fully automated no-hand production concept will increase productivity further by relying on robots to eliminate almost all manual work.

Ralf Carlström, General Manager at Digital Metal, explains: “Most AM technologies show a very low level of automation. Our aim is to change that. With the new no-hand production line, our customers can further improve their productivity and lower the production costs. Almost all manually intensive work can be eliminated and in addition the powders removed in the cleaning machine can be recirculated in the process, thus minimizing waste. As we see it, the Digital Metal technology is now applicable for serial production of high-volume components.”

Hard Working Robots at Digital Metal

For this automated no-hand production concept, robots will feed a 3D printer with “build boxes”. These boxes will then be moved by pick-and-place robots to a CNC-operated de-powdering machine for post-treatment.

The next step is where Digital Metal is now introducing automation – the powder removal step. During this treatment, any remaining metal powder will be recycled without degeneration of properties. Then, parts will be placed on sintering plates.

Finally, a robot will move the plates to the sintering furnace. The parts will undergo debinding and sintering combined. Digital Metal adds, CNC-controlled movements during de-powdering are based on information from the printing process.

Carlström explains: “We believe there is a huge potential for our unique technology. Not only is it very fast and cost-effective, it is also able to create complicated and highly detailed designs with wide material choice.”

Want to see the Digital Metal technology live for yourself? The team is at Formnext in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, between 13-16 November 2018.

Source: Press Release

Digital Metal

License: The text of "Digital Metal Launches Fully Automated No-Hand Production Concept for Metal 3D Printers" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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