Digital Metal launches DM P2500 3D printer for small and intricate metal parts

Digital Metal's binder jetting process has been used to produce dials for Montfort's luxury automatic watches

Sweden-based Digital Metal—a Höganäs Group company—has announced the launch of its DM P2500 binder jetting (BJ) 3D printer for the creation of small and intricate, high-precision metal parts.

The DM P2500 is said to be ideal for serial and one-off production of customized components. It allows for the realization of complex geometries with medical-grade smoothness, moving components within parts and a gradient of holes in one print.

The DM P2500 affords a print volume of 2,500 cm3 and is therefore capable of producing up to 50,000 components in a single run. It prints 42 µm layers continuously at speeds of up to 100 cm3/hr and there is no need for support structures. Furthermore, a resolution of 35 µm and an average surface roughness of Ra 6 µm are achieved pre-finishing.

The BJ process can be adapted to accommodate a variety of materials as sintering occurs post-printing. Powder removed prior to sintering is reused for subsequent jobs, resulting in high yield and low scrap rates.

The DM P2500 can be purchased or licensed from Digital Metal. In addition to the printer, customers are said to receive all necessary ancillary equipment as well as introductory and ongoing training and support.

So far, two DM P2500 printers have been licensed to Digital Metal customers. One is confidentially licensed to a global fashion design company and is being used for the serial production of items due for release at the end of the year.

The other has been installed at France’s CETIM (Centre Technique des Industries Mécaniques/Technical Center for the Mechanical Industry) since June and is delivering ‘exceptional, consistent results’.

A contract metal 3D printing services provider, Digital Metal has spent the last four years using its proprietary BJ technology to produce approximately 2,000 parts at scale for customers in the aerospace, automotive, dental, healthcare and luxury goods industries.

Montfort—a Swiss manufacturer of luxury automatic watches—commissioned Digital Metal to print dials for its watches, the design for which was based on the Swiss Alps. Binder jetting is claimed to have been the only means by which Montford could achieve a close resemblance to the mineral, crystalline structure of rocks.

‘The Digital Metal business has doubled year on year since its inception, however we’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of the potential this technology offers for designers and engineers,’ said Ralf Carlström, general manager, Digital Metal. ‘We’ve seen relatively small but previously unachievable changes to the internal structure of components result in a 30 percent improvement in overall product efficiency, which would have been impossible to produce using conventional methods.

‘Now it’s time to open the market by allowing other businesses and manufacturers to take advantage of our proprietary technology and know-how. From designers that crave more freedom to industries that hoard spare parts that are never used, we want to shake up their thinking for future product design and maintenance. Items can be printed on-demand, in the singular or en masse.’

Digital Metal is exhibiting the DM P2500 at TCT Show, in Birmingham, UK, on September 26-28, 2017, as well as Formnext, in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 4-17 November, 2017.