Desktop Metal, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, has announced its new Shop System™, a metal Binder Jetting system designed for machine shops and metal job shops, at Formnext 2019, Frankfurt, Germany. Beginning at $150,000, the high speed, single-pass system is said to introduce high-quality metal binder jetting to a new market of machine shops and metal fabrication job shops, a global industry estimated to be worth nearly $180 billion.
According to Desktop Metal, the Shop System offers an end-to-end solution, including the AM machine, powder station and furnace, which integrates with existing shop operations. It can be used to additively manufacture end-use metal parts that span a variety of industries, including manufacturing, tooling, automotive, consumer, electronics and marine, with the quality, surface finish and tolerances needed to co-exist with machining.
It is reported to be able to produce parts up to ten times faster than Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) and at a fraction of the cost per part. The Shop System can manufacturer a batch of complex parts every six to twelve hours, enabling from tens up to hundreds of near-net shape metal parts to be produced each day, says Desktop Metal.
At the machine’s announcement, the company explained that parts produced on its Shop System are built fully supported in a powder bed and feature hand-removable sintering setters. This, it was stated, could avoid hours of labour machining or wire EDM to remove support structures, reducing the total number of manufacturing steps needed, increasing shop productivity and capacity without requiring additional headcount or machinist hours.
Jonah Myerberg, co-founder and CTO of Desktop Metal, who led the technical development of the system, stated, “Shop owners have been enamoured by the versatility, speed and cost reduction that Binder Jetting technology can provide, but until now, it hasn’t been accessible to them. The Shop System offers users the same fully-dense metal parts at an affordable price that works in harmony with machining on the shop floor. What’s more, the system enables owners to both save and make money by eliminating tooling costs, lowering lead times, and bringing in new business because of an improved part-cost equation.”
The system utilises a spot size of 16 microns per drop, 1600 native single pass DPI and distributes up to 670 million drops per second. It is said to offer the smallest droplet size for single pass Binder Jetting systems at approximately 1 pL, and automated drop multiplexing up to 6 pL. Desktop Metal added that the system’s 70,000 nozzles per line have built in five times redundancy to help to avoid jet-outs, resulting in enhanced quality and reliability for shop owners.
Being available at variable configurations (4L, 8L, 12L and 16L), the Shop System is designed to scale to each shop’s throughput, including:
- Mixed-volume production of various geometries
Production of various part geometries simultaneously without the need for multiple setups
- Production of low volume batches
Cost effective production of low volume batches of complex parts due to elimination of tooling
- Mid-volume production of hundreds of parts per day
Production of hundreds of near-net-shape parts every day with significantly reduced labour costs and expanded geometric flexibility