Desktop Metal is a 3D printing startup aiming at creating metal 3D printing systems not only for mass production but also for office environments. The company says its Studio System desktop metal printer is targeted specifically at engineers and designers. The Studio System is a three-part solution aimed at allowing engineers to rapid prototype metal parts without the need for outsourcing. According to the company, the system can print parts that can be sintered to 96-99% density, with a better than 99% dimensional accuracy.
The system's printer, rather than using a laser to melt metal powder, extrudes bound metal rods in a process similar to how a fused filament fabrication (FDM) printer works. The company says this method offers more safety and enables new features such as the use of closed-cell infill for lightweight strength. The system also consists of a debinder that prepares green parts for sintering by dissolving primary binder.
Again, taking cues from FDM printing, the system shapes a “green” part layer-by-layer by heating and extruding specially formulated bound metal rod, that can then be sanded by hand easily for light finishing. Finally, the system's furnace, according to the company, is able to deliver industrial-strength sintering in an office-friendly package. The Studio System handles a number of core alloys including 17-4PH stainless steel, AISI 4140 steel, 316 L stainless steel, copper, Inconel 625, and H13 tool steel.
[image source: Desktop Metal]