Digital Metal, part of Sweden’s Höganäs Group, has launched the DPS 1000 depowdering machine, said to be the world’s first commercial automated depowdering station for metal Binder Jetting (BJT) Additive Manufacturing. The company also announced that Fraunhofer Institute for Additive Production Technologies (IAPT), located in Hamburg, Germany, is one of the first to invest in the new technology, along with a complete metal Binder Jetting system from Digital Metal.
“A key benefit of the DPS 1000 for Digital Metal customers is that it will free up time, and also bring consistency by removing the human factor from the equation,” stated Alexander Sakratidis, Sales and Marketing Manager at Digital Metal.
Fraunhofer has been a leading European research organisation for more than seventy years. Under this umbrella, Fraunhofer IAPT´s mission is to industrialise Additive Manufacturing technologies to create resource-efficient products for the future.
“Metal Binder Jetting will enhance productivity and precision while at the same time reducing costs of metal Additive Manufacturing, which opens the door for series production,” added Dr Philipp Imgrund, Head of AM Processes Department at Fraunhofer. “However, one major technical challenge is depowdering of the green parts and we see a huge potential in working on automation solutions in this context.”
Fraunhofer IAPT was said to be impressed with the DPS 1000’s ability to precisely remove metal powder from most geometries of any parts, with the added manual cleaning option making it possible to clean complex components after the initial program has removed most of the powder.
Dr Imgrund believes automated depowdering will be key to the industrialisation of AM, “To date manual depowdering and cleaning have taken up most of the work hours in the Binder Jetting process. Automating this step makes the whole AM process cost efficient while ensuring more consistent part quality,” he stated.
Digital Metal’s DM P2500 Additive Manufacturing machine is based on its proprietary, high-precision Binder Jetting technology. The automatically calibrated moving parts in the machine have an accuracy of 1 µm, which is said to offer excellent repeatability in serial production. With a build volume of 203 x 180 x 69 mm, the DM P2500 allows a fast, flexible and cost-effective production of metal parts directly from CAD data.
“With this system, we can easily test multiply different powders to enhance the print quality and make more precise predictions on the shrinking of the sintering process. It convinces with its precision, and even very delicate structures can be printed. We also appreciate the collegial and professional atmosphere when working with Digital Metal. It makes it easy to find common ground for innovative projects.”
Digital Metal’s AM system, including its automated depowdering technology, can be viewed in action here.