Mar 18, 2016 | By Alec
A more diverse market is always good for the consumer, and in that respect European businesses and research institutes will be happy to learn that 3D printer manufacturer InssTek has just announced an export deal for the European market. The deal follows the CE certification of the DMT 3D Metal Printer MX-4 back in January, which denotes that the technology meets all of the requirements set by the EU’s Directives of Council in regards to safety, health, environment and consumer protection. An import deal was the logical consequence of that certification. The developer of the excellent DMT metal 3D printers is well-known in Asian high quality 3D printing circles, and are hoping that this move will pave the way to European (and ultimately US) businesses as well.
This means that the European market, where just a handful of metal 3D printer models are currently available, is about to get an alternative option. The company expects it will be a precedent that will lead to a similar 3D printer export deal with the United States as well. InssTek, of course, is the premier metal 3D printing business in South Korea and firmly tied to the nation’s manufacturing industry. The company’s CEO Sun Doo-Hoon is the son-in-law of South Korea’s large conglomerate Hyundai Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo. CEO Sun is married to the chairman’s eldest daughter Chung Sung-yi, who is also an advisor at Hyundai-affiliated advertisement agency Innocean Worldwide Inc.
In the Korean market, it is becoming hard to avoid InssTek when it comes to metal 3D printing. Earlier in the year, they opened a huge new research institute in the Daedeok Science Complex, just across from the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials. With a total area of 4772.8m2 and featuring extensive facilities, the company announced that they would be working on various 3D printing products there. “We will push ahead with technical exchange with companies located in Daedeok Science Complex where high tech businesses are concentrated by taking relocation of its office building an opportunity actively”, the institute’s director Seo Jeong Hoon said of the new center.
The company also works with the Korean government on various military applications, including the use of 3D printing to repair fighter jets, and even the production of jet engine parts. In the Korean market, they also provide various manufacturing, repair and remodeling services using their DMT metal 3D printer technology.
But it is also a company that has been working hard on increasing their international footprint, and this latest EU deal can be seen in that light. Previously, they have also set up a software collaboration with Materialise, for their InssTek Build Processor 3D printing software solution, which enables their signature DMT 3D printing technology to be operated more easily. “The software enables a user to correct and edit 3D design more easily and prepare build platform and data and operate printers efficiently which helps a user make efficient use of time and invest more time in part design,” they said of the collaboration.
That should do a lot to make the DMT metal 3D printers more appealing to European clients, though it’s an appealing technology already. “[DMT metal 3D printing] melts commercially available metal powders using high power laser and shapes complex metal structures with the aid of 3D CAD file. It is one of the latest 3D metal printing technologies and is classified according to ASTM standard in the category of `Directed Energy Deposition’,” the company says of the tech. In contrast to Power Bed Fusion technologies, DMT instead uses commercially available industrial metal powders to keep prices down as much as possible. “The powder flows constantly and is completely melted through laser beam and rapid solidified again. The microscopic metal structure is thus 100% tight and not different from conventionally produced metal parts or has in some cases even better mechanical properties,” they add.
But like other metal 3D printing solutions, it can manufacture geometries impossible with traditional options, and is already frequently used in automotive, medical, aerospace and defense industries. The company says that their metal molds, for instance, can be equipped with highly complex internal structures featuring sensors and cooling channels. Joints used in surgery, for instance, are also possible. “The structures manufactured by the DMT 3D printers have been confirmed to have equal or superior metallurgical and mechanical properties compared to wrought ones, even without post heat treatment,” they argue. They further argue that their machines can be used to repair existing metal products without diminishing the original quality, or even for reverse engineering existing parts.
What’s more, the company also already has a wide range of products available, that are suitable for different companies and products. The entry-level MX-250 DMT 3D printer features a build space of just 250 X 250 X 250 mm and is perfect for small-sized objects, but the larger MX-450 (450 X 450 X 350mm) and MX-1000 (1,000 X 800 X 650 mm) offer very different possibilities. They even have the MPC DMT 3D printer, which is purposefully designed for the coating of orthopedic implants, while the largest MX-Grand features a truly massive build space of 2,000 X 1,000 X 1,000 mm (in 3 axis mode), or even 4,000 X 1,000 X 1,000 mm (as 3 axis machine).
In short, it seems that InssTek has both the technology, product range and experience to become an important player in the European metal 3D printing market.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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