Incus GmbH, a new metal Additive Manufacturing machine maker based in Vienna, Austria, will debut its novel metal AM system at Formnext 2019 this November. The company’s Hammer Series machine uses a technology based on the principle of photopolymerisation for the Additive Manufacturing of intricate metal components.
This new metal AM technology is said to combine excellent surface aesthetics for fine structures with cost-efficiency, reproducibility and increased manufacturing speed. The process uses a feedstock which is said to increase working environment safety, eliminate the need to invest in protective gas atmosphere solutions, and offers reproducibility without elaborate process parameters.
The company evolved from ceramic AM specialist Lithoz GmbH. “Our goal is to become an integral part of production in the metal industry. To achieve this, we are focusing on absolute service orientation and our passion for bringing innovative metal printing solutions to market. Quality and partnership are cornerstones of our business model,” stated Dr Gerald Mitteramskogler, CEO of Incus.
According to Incus, metal Additive Manufacturing technologies currently on the market offer the production of parts using relatively coarse metal powders in the range of around 40–100 µm. With the new Incus process, it is possible to use metal powders down to 20 µm at competitive build speeds.
Mitteramskogler further added, “With our new printer series, it is not only possible to produce very small complex components with the finest surface structure, it also allows us to use new metal powder mixtures, such as non-weldable powders. In material development projects with our customers, we have already shown that we can achieve similar material properties compared to Metal Injection Moulding, a mass production process for metal parts. We are always happy to take on challenges concerning new materials or geometries to benchmark our process.”
Two beta machines are reported to have been in use for development for over a year, and feasibility studies have shown that the expectations for the technology are being met. Prof Carlo Burkhardt, Head of the Institute for Strategic Technology and Precious Metals at the University of Pforzheim and founder of local company MetShape, who has been involved in the development of applications for the new systems, stated, “We are always intrigued by cutting-edge technologies and are convinced that we are part of a new era in the metalworking industry. The components we produced in the beta phase with the printer exceeded our expectations.”
AM Ventures, known for strategically sustainable investments in advanced manufacturing technologies, especially Additive Manufacturing, is backing the company. Johann Oberhofer, Chief Technology Officer of AM Ventures, commented, “When the project was presented to us, we saw immediately that this was not a small boost to innovation. We believe that this new technology will open up many opportunities in the metal industry and we want to help make this happen.”