Apr 3, 2018 | By Thomas

Stratasys today announced a new spin-off designed to advance innovation of Powder-Bed Fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing  - Vulcan Labs, Inc. The new company’s primary focus is advancing the quality, repeatability and efficiency of PBF technology – initially focusing on metals.

Originating from the 2014 acquisition of the production-oriented service bureau Harvest Technologies, Vulcan Labs is designed towards advancing PBF platforms to achieve end-use production applications. Vulcan Labs’ quality-focused solutions are currently being developed to include:

    Optimized build environments and unique multi-laser scan strategies
    Closed loop melt pool quality control
    Detailed Data Logging and Integration to the factory floor
    Automated powder handling and in-situ powder quality characterization
    Automated calibration and build set-up capabilities

“We’re extremely excited to continue our long-standing collaboration with Stratasys that began back in 2014. Together, we’ll continue to explore unique solutions that strengthen the production ecosystem across additive manufacturing,” said David K. Leigh, CEO of Vulcan Labs, Inc.

“Vulcan’s best-in-class team has both the experience and technical know-how necessary to bring PBF into real-world production – a vision perfectly aligned and complementary to our other activities in this space, including Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and our investment in LPW,” said Stratasys CEO, Ilan Levin. “To provide Vulcan with the best path to achieve its vision, we decided to form a new and independent entity, with Stratasys as an equity stakeholder. We are delighted to continue supporting this team and look forward to collaborating with them and their partners to achieve this vision.”

In the coming months, Vulcan will engage with partners and customers to evaluate and further develop Vulcan’s solutions.

Stratasys also today officially unveiled the spin-off of its Selective Toner Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology and forming of Evolve Additive Solutions.

Traditional manufacturers have long sought to combine the benefits of additive manufacturing with the material, quality and economics of traditional production processes. Evolve’s STEP technology is aimed at producing parts at a cost, quality and throughput comparable to traditional manufacturing processes. The solution is intended for high-volume production runs into the hundreds of thousands per year. As such, it is expected to compete with traditional processes, such as injection molding.

“As an independent company, Evolve will best be able to focus on the advancement of the technology, provide the entrepreneurial environment and management equity incentives suitable for early stage efforts and drive the customer relationships and partnerships to foster further development and initial market adoption,” said Stratasys CEO, Ilan Levin.

Designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration, STEP empowers users to utilize production-grade thermoplastics for volume production applications across multiple industries, including Consumer, Automotive, Industrial and Medical. The STEP process combines time-tested 2D imaging technology with proprietary IP developed by Evolve to precisely align incoming layers and sophisticated bonding techniques that create final parts that are fully dense with isotropic properties of injection molding. Specifically, STEP technology introduces a range of new features, including:

    Engineering-grade thermoplastic materials (amorphous and semi-crystalline)
    Production speeds of up to 50X faster than existing additive manufacturing solutions
    Cost per part and surface quality comparable to traditional manufacturing
    Isotropic properties in X, Y and Z directions on par with injection molding
    Industry 4.0 and automation factory floor integration
    Multiple material printing capable within the same layer
    Full color printing capability – including spot and process.

According to Stratasys, Evolve has already commenced seeking initial purchase orders from several leading automotive, consumer goods and aerospace companies during its alpha stage.  Over the next 12 months, Evolve also plans to engage new customers to evaluate beta systems for applications in volume production environments across many vertical markets. Evolve has not yet announced the date of expected general availability of its products.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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