Nov 17, 2015 | By Alec

As regular readers doubtlessly already know, the market of industrial level metal 3D printers is truly amazing, and already features some dazzling making machines. But even here, we are reminded by Eindhoven, The Netherlands-based developers Additive Industries, there’s room for improvement. As part of a sneak peek for the media, the Dutch engineering experts just showed off what they call the next generation of industrial metal 3D printing: the MetalFAB1, a huge machine that they promise is up to ten times more efficient in terms of reproducibility, productivity and flexibility.

Additive Industries, as you might know, is a high tech business with strong roots in the laboratories of Eindhoven, and is dedicated to taking metal 3D printing from the scientists and to the industries. Since 2012, they have been working on what they call the next generation of that technology, and the MetalFAB1 is the result of that effort. Now, not every detail is known about that machine yet, but what we do know is very promising.

As room-filling machine, it reaches its high level of productivity through a robust and thermally optimized design, we are told by the engineering experts, that is combined with tons of feedback control options, calibration strategies and optimized use of automated build plates and product handling. ‘The modular design of the MetalFAB1 system allows for customer- and application-specific process configuration. Multiple build chambers with individual integrated powder handling make this industrial 3D printer the first to combine up to four materials simultaneously in one single machine,’ they tell us. ‘The MetalFAB1 can be equipped with a maximum of four full field lasers, thereby eliminating the need for stitching when printing large objects. MetalFAB1 is also the only system to include a furnace for integrated stress relief heat treatment. The size of a single build envelope (420x420x400 mm) places the MetalFAB1 among the top 3 largest 3D metal printers available.’ Sounds like a maker’s dream, doesn’t it?

That is just about all the information revealed this week, while the machine itself will also be showcased at the Formnext conference in Frankfurt over the coming days. But if you’re wondering when this machine will become available, such dates aren’t yet in the picture. Beta testing will only begin next week, while four Beta machines have already been reserved by clients in the  aerospace, high tech equipment and tooling industries. Through that feedback, CEO Daan Kerstens of Additive Industries says, the machine will be optimized. ‘We are eager to work closely together with our Beta customers. We will team up to further develop the process, new materials and applications as well as testing the performance to substantially improve the business cases of our customers,’ he says.



Posted in 3D Printer



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