This automation technology uses robotics for the most laborious manual step in metal 3D Printing, which is de-powdering the system after printing. Previously, this step was done by humans using specially designed glove boxes for safety.
Additive manufacturing still looms large in our science fiction imaginations in the form of Star Trek-like replication machines that will create just about anything (in between commercials) with the push of a button. The truth, however, is that additive manufacturing is still a highly complex process that requires a great deal of preparation and post-printing work—most of it manual. The high costs of such manual labor-intensive processes, therefore, has restricted metal 3D printing to low-volume, high price tag parts, such as those for aircraft or surgical applications. Until automation improves, it will be a hard challenge to achieve large volume production, like that required for automotive or industrial applications, at reasonable costs.
Digital Metal has introduced a fully automated, no-hand production concept for metal 3D Printing.
(Image source: Digital Metal)
For 3D Printing to move into serial or mass production productivity, it needs to improve substantially…()”
.Ralf Carlström, general manager for Digital Metal AB
“Today, additive manufacturing serial production is primarily found in segments with comparatively low volumes, like aerospace and medical implants, where the alternative cost is high. Moving on to high-volume segments like automotive will require productivity to increase substantially through more efficient processes.”
Ralf Carlström, general manager for Digital Metal AB
Sweden’s Digital Metal, a proprietary binder-jetting additive manufacturing technology company created by Höganäs AB, says it can deliver high levels of resolution for small objects combined with high surface quality, as well as unprecedented automation (“no-hand production”) that makes metal 3D Printing feasible for high-volume production. Digital Metal is known for producing small, high-volume components using its high-precision DM P2500 system.
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Source: Design News, Tracey Schelmetic, Materials and Assembly, Additive Manufacturing Automation Brings Down Costs; Increases Productivity Jan10, 2019 https://www.designnews.com/materials-assembly/additive-manufacturing-automation-brings-down-costs-increases-productivity/171456819760058 and was re-edited by João Andrade on Jan11, 2019;