What’s New in 3D Printing?
Last month, Tim Fahey, Senior Vice President at Team NEO, and co-leader of the Northeast Ohio Additive Manufacturing Cluster attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) to scout out the latest and greatest in 3D printing (3DP). Even though he attended RAPID in April, (the most influential additive manufacturing show in North America), he said the technology has advanced greatly in a very short period of time.
Read the below Q&A to learn more about the latest advancements in 3D printing. For additional information about adopting 3D printing for your business, please contact our team.
Q: As a company in Northeast Ohio, or cluster member of the Northeast Ohio Additive Manufacturing Cluster, why should you care about keeping up on advancements being made in the world of 3D Printing?
Tim Fahey: It is important to recognize that additive manufacturing is rapidly evolving, and it is critical to keep up with the latest advancements because it is evolving faster than traditional industries. You don’t want to make uninformed capex or materials decisions without knowing what is currently available.
Q: What was the most interesting start-up you saw at IMTS?
Tim Fahey: Velo 3D, a Bay Area start-up, unveiled their new metal machine. They launched their product in August of 2017, and were on the list of the 7 most funded 3D printing metal start-ups. They have now raised a total of $90 million in venture capital funding according to Tech Crunch.com. Their software allows engineers to design low-angle overhangs of 5° and large inner diameters without the use of supports making impossible designs a reality.
According to Velo3D.com, “Intelligent Fusion is our proprietary technology invented to free the conventional laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) approach from design constraints by process simulation, prediction, and closed-loop control.” View their whitepaper here.
Q: What advancements are being made in biomedical applications?
Q: Who did you meet that is interested in coming to the region to see our 3DP assets?
Tim Fahey: I met with Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies whose machine is located at Youngstown State University. Their integrated machining center combines the design freedom of additive with the precision of CNC. They are interested in visiting the region to learn more about cluster companies, America Makes and YBI.
Q: Which companies debuted a new 3DP machine at IMTS?
Tim Fahey: HP unveiled its HP Metal Jet that claims to be 50X more productivity than other 3DP metal methods and at a lower-cost. It doesn’t seem to be available on the market yet, but it will be available in 2019. Like their polymer machine, it will be a full closed-loop system. They are partnering with GKN the European metal powder company.
Another new metal AM company was Digital Alloys from the Boston area. Their technology claims to be very fast and affordable. It is fed with wire instead of powder, so it is a high-speed build process, and can use any kind of metal wire. Precision isn’t great, but it is very fast and reasonably priced. It also is not available yet, but it will be on the market in late 2019.
EOS also unveiled a new metal machine, the M300 series.
Lastly, Ingersoll announced their new 3D printer, the “WHAM,” which has surpassed the BAAM machine and is now the largest 3D printer in the world, touting a work envelope measuring W 23’ x H 10’ x L 46’.