Meteor Inkjet Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hybrid Software Group headquartered in Cambridge, UK, which services the industrial inkjet systems market, has been granted US Patent No. 11,625,902 for “Methods and Systems for Shell Formation in 3D Printing.” The ShellPro technology utilises the greyscale of capability of inkjet to offer step-function savings in the energy and materials required to additively manufacture complex parts via Binder Jetting (BJT).
Binder Jet technology often necessitates multiple structural constituents of different densities. One such structure might form a strong ‘shell’ around the object’s surface, which is typically denser than the object’s interior. Meteor’s ShellPro technology utilises the multiple drop size capacity of greyscale industrial inkjet printheads to more easily create sections of higher or lower density as needed. The technology can also automatically reduce shell thickness for small features, thus improving dimensional accuracy.
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“This innovation offers the potential for Additive Manufacturing print systems to use as much as 50% less binder fluid, reduce the energy needed for curing and create 3D objects faster, all without sacrificing quality,” stated Ken Hillier, Meteor’s Director of North America and the patent’s primary inventor.
ShellPro is included as a standard feature in Meteor’s Met3D software. Met3D offers users a means to convert 3D CAD files such as STL or OBJ to rasterised vector files compatible with inkjet Additive Manufacturing machines.
Clive Ayling, Meteor’s Managing Director, added, “Meteor continues to undertake basic research to find and develop ways to improve the functionality, cost, quality and reliability of the industrial inkjet printing process. We are delighted that this invention has been recognised with a US patent and are confident that our ongoing investment in technological innovation will directly benefit not only our OEM customers, but also the industry.”