Stratasys, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and Rehovot, Israel, has released further details of its new platform currently being developed and designed for short-run metal applications. First unveiled earlier this year, the Additive Manufacturing platform is based on Stratasys’ “Layered Powder Metallurgy” (LPM™) technology, and is said to make production of metal parts quicker, easier and more cost-effective.
The technology is reported to offer improved efficiency and cost savings using standard Powder Metallurgy alloys, with high accuracy and controlled shrinkage, as well as extremely fast throughput. Developed internally over the past several years, Stratasys’ platform incorporates the company’s proprietary jetting technology. The first material to be made available for the system will be an aluminium alloy.
“We note that current approaches to 3D printing metal parts leave a lot to be desired – including slow post-processing, painstakingly intricate support removal, and hours of matching and grinding. Combined with the high cost of AM powders, this means each part is expensive, with a total cost of ownership that is too hard to justify,” stated Rafie Grinvald, Director of Product Marketing and Management, Stratasys. “Our new platform is being designed to transform the current metals Additive Manufacturing landscape – presenting a viable alternative to typical production methods – and helping customers dramatically reduce the costs of creating reliable, consistent production-grade, metal parts for short-run applications.”
The LPM™ solution includes a 3-step, Additive Manufacturing process combining traditional PM with Stratasys’ PolyJet™ robust ink-jet technology. The process includes printing of boundaries with proprietary thermal ink, powder dispensing and spreading, and then compaction of the powder layer to achieve high-density and controllable shrinkage.
The system aims to directly address needs of customers who require production of pilot-series parts, small-batch manufacturing during product ramp-up and end-of-life, as well as customised, lightweight, complex parts. The offering is said to be ideal for such markets as automotive, aerospace and defence.
View the LPM additive process in action here.
Stratasys is discussing its new metals solution and demonstrating production parts at formnext 2018 in Messe Frankfurt, Germany, November 13 –16. The company is offering exclusive hands-on demos, detailed customer use-cases and presentations throughout the show in Hall 3.1, Stand G40.