Digital Metal launches new depowdering station to automate binder jetting

Swedish metal 3D printer company Electronic Steel has released what it describes as the “world’s first” automatic depowdering station for binder jet devices. 

Acknowledged as the DPS 1000, Electronic Metal’s latest machine is developed to mechanize submit-print powder recycling, enabling buyers to extra effortlessly serially-manufacture binder jetted areas. As one of the to start with to install the new program, Fraunhofer IAPT now intends to deploy it as a means of aiding its wider study into the content-productive industrialization of 3D printing. 

According to Alexander Sakratidis, Sales and Internet marketing Manager at Digital Metal, putting in the automated depowering device must let the institute’s engineers to expend much more time on worth-creating duties shifting forwards. “A essential reward of the DPS 1000 for Digital Metallic shoppers, is that it will cost-free up time,” stated Sakratidis, “it also delivers consistency by getting rid of the human element from the equation.” 

Digital Metal's new DPS 1000 depowdering system.
Digital Metal’s new DPS 1000 depowdering program. Impression by means of Digital Metal.

Digital Metal’s jetting strategy

Functioning as a subsidiary of alloy powder company Höganäs AB, Electronic Metallic has constructed up a broad ecosystem of items about its exceptional binder jetting technological innovation about the previous 4 many years, and it now markets its DM P2500 3D printer, connected supplies and of course, the new DPS 1000 depowdering station. 

Based about its proprietary technological know-how, Digital Metal’s DM P2500 is constructed to permit specific production at scale, and it attributes routinely-calibrated shifting areas capable of printing with an accuracy of just 1 µm. Considering that its start in 2017, the system has discovered programs inside equally automotive and aerospace, and been installed at the Manufacturing Know-how Centre as properly, for exploration needs. 

In the past, Electronic Metallic has also sought to extend its machine’s abilities by delivering its people with a pure copper powder to 3D print with, and releasing a program enhance that tripled its velocity. Similarly, the business has experimented with robotically-loading the DM P2500, and the DPS 1000 seems to be the subsequent rational stage in its mission to automate the technique, and unlock its throughput likely. 

Digital Metal's DPS 1000 depowdering station in-action.
Electronic Metal’s DPS 1000 depowdering station in-motion. Photo by way of Electronic Metal.

Automatic depowdering at scale

Electronic Metal’s new process is proficiently a semi-automated depowdering station that will allow adopters to safely obtain and reuse unfastened powder for future careers. In practise, the device is in a position to realize this many thanks to its automatic cleansing nozzles, which take away any remaining product from printed pieces working with compressed air, when if required, complicated elements can also be set again in for handbook processing.

By undertaking this first article-processing stage on the behalf of its users, Digital Metal claims that the DPS 1000 unlocks “high volume output,” and that it could support elevate the throughput its binder jetting clientele are in a position to obtain, devoid of sacrificing the precision or dependability of the resulting components. 

“Metal binder jetting will enhance productiveness and precision even though at the identical time lowering charges of steel AM, which opens the door for sequence production,” points out Dr. Philipp Imgrund, Head of the AM Procedures Section at Fraunhofer IAPT. “However, one significant technological challenge is the depowdering of green components, and we see a large potential in doing work on automation answers in this context.”

For its portion, Fraunhofer IAPT has now grow to be a single of the initially to undertake Electronic Metal’s new unit, installing it together with just one of the firm’s DM P2500 3D printers. When working with the DPS 1000, Fraunhofer’s engineers are by now stated to be pleased with its means to depowder refined components, and via working with Digital Metallic, the institute believes that it could uncover fascinating investigate options in long run.  

“With this process, we can quickly take a look at multiple unique powders to greatly enhance print high quality and make a lot more precise predictions on the shrinking of the sintering approach,” additional Imgrund. “We also take pleasure in the collegial and specialist environment when working with Digital Metallic. It makes it effortless to come across prevalent floor for impressive tasks.”

“It convinces with its precision, and even extremely sensitive buildings can be printed.”

The DM P2500 3D printer. Photo via Digital Metal.
Electronic Metal’s DM P2500 3D printer, initially launched in 2017. Image via Electronic Metallic.

Advances in binder jetting

So significantly, 2021 has witnessed a plethora of binder jetting innovations, which include technological developments, recently-skilled products and the unlocking of novel apps. Just final thirty day period, Desktop Steel became the initially to qualify 4140 low-alloy steel for its Single Go Jetting technological innovation, delivering its Output Process consumers with a new content capable of yielding automotive oil & fuel or tooling elements. 

In point, binder jetting is more and more discovering mainstream automotive apps, and Volkswagen has announced strategies to deploy the know-how at its plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Doing work with HP and Siemens, the business aims to undertake binder jetting as a indicates of cutting down its charges and increasing its factory’s productivity.  

Equally, manufacturing assistance provider FreeFORM Technologies lately unveiled that it is employing ExOne’s binder jetting technology to deliver lightweight automotive tooling. In a single such situation, the company has been in a position to make a advanced close-of-arm tooling aspect, for its shopper, industrial automation organization Allegheny Electrical Support.

The nominations for the 2021 3D Printing Sector Awards are now open. Who do you imagine need to make the shortlists for this year’s present? Have your say now. 

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Featured graphic demonstrates Electronic Metal’s new DPS 1000 depowdering procedure. Picture by using Electronic Steel.

Ellen C. McGowan

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