Additive manufacturing (AM) leader, Stratasys has announced it is developing a new metal 3D printing platform for short-run manufacturing.
The company has spent almost 30 years focussed on its pioneering plastic-based FDM and PolyJet 3D printing solutions but today’s announcement marks a first for the company in a market which is projected to grow to $12 billion by 2028.
Set to be unveiled at RAPID + TCT which takes place on 23-26th April in Fort Worth, Texas, the new technology platform is being developed to directly address production of pilot-series parts, small batch manufacturing and customised, lightweight, and complex pars in a range of common materials.
The platform has been in development for several years and is said to be based on Stratasys’ proprietary jetting technology. With this new system, Stratasys believes it will offer customers a solution for short-run manufacture of metal parts made with commonly used powder metallurgy, starting with aluminium, and promises economically competitive cost-per-part and throughput, easy to implement post-processing and high part quality.
“We are extremely excited to announce our development of this new additive manufacturing platform, targeting short-run production applications for a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, defence, machining, and metal foundries,” said Ilan Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Stratasys. “We believe that this platform will meaningfully expand our addressable markets for the long term and provide our customers with an effective means to realise the values of additive manufacturing for powder metallurgy applications.”
Stratasys has been keeping a close eye on the growing metal market for some time. At last year’s RAPID + TCT the company signed a strategic partnership focussed on product distribution with Desktop Metal, a startup which Stratasys was an early investor in. In the same year, it also invested over $20 million in metal AM powder manufacturer, LPW Technology.
Publishing its 2017 financial results, Stratasys says it is ramping up investment to accelerate long term development programs including the new metal platform and further advancements based on FDM and PolyJet technologies.
“Following a period of incubation over the last several years, we are excited to share details of our technology roadmap, which we believe will deliver the promise of additive manufacturing to short-run metal part production,” Levin commented in the release. “As a pioneer and leader in the additive manufacturing industry, Stratasys is increasing its investments in the development of innovative technologies and application knowledge to drive adoption through deeper customer engagement.”
Article from TCT mag online 28 February 2018 20:32 BY Laura Griffiths