Desktop Metal Introduces Robotic Additive Manufacturing 2.0 Digital Casting System Metrology & Quality News

Desktop Metal announced the launch of the ExOne S-Max Flex, a scalable large-format binder jetting system that 3D prints sand tools, which foundries use to quickly cast complex metal designs for the aerospace, automotive, and automotive industries. and energy, among others. .

ExOne, which was acquired by Desktop Metal in late 2021, is the leading provider of digital sand printing solutions for foundries. The new S-Max Flex combines ExOne’s sand printing expertise in process and materials with proprietary Desktop Metal SPJ technology in an affordable architecture to deliver new value to foundries that have long wanted a S-Max but found the top price out of reach.

“To achieve our vision of Additive Manufacturing 2.0, we must make production 3D printing practical in terms of speed, cost, and material availability for a wide range of applications,” said Ric Fulop, co-founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “We designed the all-new S-Max Flex from the ground up leveraging SPJ technology with the idea of ​​making high-end sand 3D printing accessible to every foundry, so more companies can take advantage of the advantages of AM 2.0, such as distributed, local production, and staying competitive over the long term.

The S-Max Flex hits the market at a time of high demand for castings, as well as difficulty finding labor. After years of contraction, the U.S. foundry industry is experiencing growth due to supply chain changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey released by the American Foundry Society shows that 90% of North American foundries surveyed have a positive business outlook and plan to make capital investments in the next 12 months, including 3D printers.

Other early buyers of the new S-Max Flex include Founders Service & Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Deerfield, Ohio, and HTCI Co. of New Carlisle, Ohio.

Robotic digital casting system

The S-Max Flex combines an affordable industrial robot with an all-new end-effector printhead design that deposits binder in a telescoping 1900 x 1000 x 1000 mm (74 x 39 x 39 inch) build box that s enlarges as the pieces are built layer by layer. Additional build box sizes are available up to 4700 x 1000 x 1000 mm (185 x 39 x 39 in), with taller versions available up to 1000 x 2500 x 2400 mm (39 x 98 x 94 in) .

Desktop Metal’s high-throughput SPJ technology offers a build rate of up to 115 lph, providing foundries with fast, reliable production to operate more efficiently during times of ongoing labor shortages, as well than a faster return on investment. The S-Max Flex joins the high-end S-Max and S-Max Pro solutions used in foundries around the world.

The all-new S-Max Flex prints standard silica sand with furan binders and delivers final parts with dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.5mm. The system comes with several configurable accessories and security devices to fit a variety of spaces.

Industries beyond metal casting are also poised to take advantage of the S-Max Flex’s large form factor and ability to cast a variety of powders. Infiltrated sand tooling for plastic thermoforming, composite layering, and sacrificial tooling applications are printed on S-Max machines today, along with infiltrated sand consumer products, such as those offered by Sandhelden and Deeptime. Desktop Metal’s Forust brand, which recycles byproducts from the wood waste stream into consumer designs, will also leverage the new system to cost-effectively print large-form-factor wood parts at scale. Other projects are being printed with reclaimed concrete and other materials.

Binder Jetting – Fastest AM method for mass production

Binder jetting 3D printing is widely regarded as the fastest additive manufacturing method for mass production of functional precision parts. Sand Binder Jetting 3D printing has been used in foundries for over two decades to create metal casting tools cost-effectively and with reduced turnaround times.

In the binder jetting process, an industrial printhead selectively deposits binder into a bed of sand particles creating a solid part one thin layer at a time, similar to printing on sheets of paper. 3D printing directly from CAD files allows foundries to eliminate the months-long lead times and high costs of traditional patterns and core boxes created from wood or metal. The design freedom of additive manufacturing also allows designers to innovate parts made with the reliable casting process – creating complex, consolidated geometries that allow for weight reduction and optimized part performance that is not possible with traditional processes.

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