We are excited to announce that TriMech's impressive repertoire of in-house 3D printing and additive manufacturing capabilities continues to expand with the successful installation of a Desktop Metal Studio System in our Middletown, CT print shop! Having installed one of the first beta units in this location back in March, we could not wait until we had this production-unit installed to start fully leveraging all that the machine can do. This system will make metal 3D printing more accessible than ever before.
The Desktop Metal Studio System is comprised of four separate components that all play a crucial role in producing your 3D printed metal parts: printer rods, materials and support, the debinder and the sintering furnace.
The printer itself is based on the tried and true fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology where the material is extruded through a heated nozzle. However, instead of filament, the Desktop Metal Studio Printer uses rods comprised of a proprietary blend of metal powder and binder. These rods are bundled in an easy to use cartridge that inserts into the material bay. The rods are fed into the head using a flipper unit that carefully lifts the rods to a vertical position and inserts them into the print head as they are needed. Finished parts that come off the printer are known to be in the “green” state because they have not yet been fired at high temperatures and transformed into metal.
Materials & Support
Because of its high strength, resistance to corrosion and wide range of applications, Desktop Metal released the printer with 17-4 Stainless Steel as the main model material with many other metal formulations on the way! For support material, the Desktop Metal Studio System uses an interface layer that was developed to remain intact through printing and debinding and then will break down during sintering to makes support removal a simple process with no extra machining equipment needed. Between printing and sintering there can be some change in scale, but fear not, Desktop Metal’s online software automatically accounts and adjusts your part for any shrinkage!
The debinder unit prepares “green” parts for sintering by dissolving the primary binder. This solvent based unit emits low emissions and requires no external ventilation making it safe for an office environment. Automatic fluid distillation, which is recycling and waste separation, makes this step nearly automatic with no need to refill fluid between each cycle.
Once the parts have been debound they are ready to go into the sintering furnace. The furnace is fully-automated and sized to fit through an office door. Built-in temperature profiles tuned to every build and material option ensure uniform heating and cooling without the residual stresses introduced in laser-based metal printing systems.
Once the sintering process is complete you can remove your parts and marvel at your new metal 3D printed parts!
Here at TriMech, we cannot wait to dive right in and begin producing 3D printed metal parts in-house!
Need a metal 3D part printed but not ready to take the leap and purchase your own Studio System yet? We can take care of it for you!