3D Systems, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, and Georg Fischer AG’s GF Machining Solutions, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, have launched their first joint Additive Manufacturing solution, the DMP Factory 500. This first joint offering is a scalable manufacturing system designed for the building of high quality, seamless metal parts of up to 500 x 500 x 500 mm using simplified workflows.
The DMP Factory 500 is a customisable solution and is comprised of five function-specific modules:
- Printer Module (PTM): designed to withstand the rigors of 24/7 production cycles enabling maximum machine uptime and output
- Removable Print Module (RPM): sealed module for powder and part transport between machine, powder, and transport modules featuring a vacuum chamber to ensure the lowest O2 content enabling high quality metal AM parts. Powder waste is eliminated, as the vacuum chamber guarantees consistent high material quality, sufficient to be re-used to depletion
- Powder Management Module (PMM): de-powders parts on build platforms, automatically recycles unused powder materials, and prepares the RPM for the next build
- Transport Module (TRM): enables efficient movement of the RPMs between machine and powder modules – reducing production time
- Parking Module (PAM): provides interim storage of RPMs in an inert environment until ready for further progression in the workflow (e.g., stores a fully prepared RPM for its next print job while the PTM is finishing the previous print job)
The modular design of the DMP Factory 500 is said to enable continuous function of all metal AM and powder management modules to maximise uptime, throughput and operational value. The ability for a manufacturer to create a custom solution – matching the number and type of modules required for their production workflow – could help maximise their investment, while the integrated automation minimises manual processes to reduce total cost of operation. In addition, the DMP Factory 500 system includes seamless data connectivity with all major ERP systems to facilitate supply chain optimisation.
The AM platform is integrated with GF Machining Solutions’ System 3R referencing and clamping system. Zero point clamping is said to enable optimal positioning of the build plate, facilitating a quick transition from the AM machine to the post-processing steps. This integrated feature reduces set-up times and provides enhanced flexibility by quickly transitioning the build plate from the additive process and sending it downstream for post-processing, saving significant time and money.
“This partnership joins two industry leaders in additive and subtractive manufacturing to deliver a solution that will change production manufacturing environments,” commented Pascal Boillat, president, GF Machining Solutions. “The blending of GF Machining Solutions’ precision machining expertise with 3D Systems’ standard-setting AM technologies will ultimately redefine metal parts production.”
Automation of the Additive Manufacturing process was a top priority in the development of this solution, and the companies stated that they are focused on developing solutions to seamlessly integrate AM technology into the complete manufacturing process chain. To facilitate this, GF Machining Solutions has filed a patent application for a new carrier concept. This flexible solution allows the user to position and locate build plates on the Removable Print Module, and provides links to automated conventional machining processes. This concept could contribute significantly to increased automation possibilities and a reduction in build plate costs.
The DMP Factory 500 Solution offers integrated software including 3D Systems’ 3DXpert™ for management of the AM workflow from design to manufacture. Additionally, DMP Monitoring facilitates real-time process monitoring to enable informed decisions on product quality.
DMP Factory 500 customers will reportedly have access to a distribution network operating in more than fifty countries. In addition to local technical support, customers will have access to metals manufacturing applications experts at Customer Innovation Centers (CICs) in Leuven, Belgium; Denver, Colorado, USA; and Stabio, Switzerland. Customers will be able to collaborate with application engineers in these locations to optimise their DMP Factory 500 system for their business needs.
“The DMP Factory 500 is transforming and redefining how manufacturing gets done,” stated Vyomesh Joshi, president and CEO, 3D Systems. “Through our partnership with GF Machining Solutions, manufacturers will have a solution that combines additive and subtractive manufacturing and provides a simplified workflow. As manufacturing continues to advance, customers will start to expect high quality, large part production with significantly reduced total cost of operation, and with the DMP Factory 500, that’s exactly what they’ll get.”