Desktop Metal, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, has officially launched Live Sinter™, a software solution designed to eliminate the trial and error required to achieve high-accuracy parts using sinter-based metal powder manufacturing processes such as binder jet Additive Manufacturing and Metal Injection Moulding (MIM).
The company states that the software corrects for the shrinkage and distortion parts typically experience during sintering, and opens the door to building geometries that, without the software, would present significant challenges to sinter.
By improving the shape and dimensional tolerances of sintered parts, first-time part success for complex geometries is expected to be improved, and the cost and time associated with post-processing minimised. In many cases, the software can enable parts to be sintered without the use of supports.
While compatible with a number of sinter-based metal powder manufacturing processes, Live Sinter will initially be made available to customers of Desktop Metal’s Shop System™, shipping in late 2020, and Production System™, shipping in 2021.
“The manufacturing industry is witnessing the transformative power that Additive Manufacturing has across many industries, from automotive and aerospace to heavy machinery and consumer products, with respect to quality, performance, and cost savings,” stated Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “We believe Live Sinter will be a critical companion in continuing to drive forward the success of Additive Manufacturing.”
“As manufacturers look to capitalise on the flexibility of volume production delivered through technologies such as Binder Jetting, Live Sinter is a first-of-its-kind solution that offers a path to predictable and repeatable outcomes by demystifying the sintering process,” he added.
Developed in collaboration with Desktop Metal’s material scientists, Live Sinter can be calibrated to a variety of alloys. The software predicts the shrinkage and distortion that parts undergo during sintering, and automatically compensates for such changes, creating ‘negative offset’ geometries that, once additively manufactured, will sinter to the original, intended design specifications.
These negative offsets are the result of a GPU-accelerated iterative process, in which the software proactively pre-deforms part geometries by precise amounts in specific directions, allowing them to achieve their intended shape as they sinter.
Andy Roberts, Desktop Metal’s VP Software, commented, “Live Sinter was developed by joining forces with – instead of fighting against – sintering-based challenges. In doing so, the software generates negative offset part geometries that sinter to the intended shapes and dimensional specifications.”
“It also tackles some of sintering’s biggest challenges, such as the use of setters,” he continued. “For years, creating setters that prop up parts in the furnace relied on the intuition of few engineers with years of hands-on experience. Now, the process is easier, more predictable, and more controllable using Live Sinter.”
Live Sinter in-depth
In the latest issue of PIM International, Desktop Metal shared the details of Live Sinter in depth in a pre-launch preview. Read the article here or view below: