Desktop Metal promises to make metal 3D printing 100x faster and 10x cheaper

The problem with 3D printing is that the available plastic raw materials are suitable only for artistic crafts, and working with metal and composite alloys, for example, according to the NASA method, is not affordable for private studios. And now comes the revolutionary moment - the Desktop Metal startup raised $ 210 million to launch a new technology that will change everything at once.

Desktop Metal is a team of MIT professors led by Emanuel Sachs, who has held key patents since 1989. They designed a printer that uses an alloy of any suitable metal and binder polymer as raw materials. Inside the printer, a special furnace heats up the metal just below its melting point, the polymer burns out and the metal particles are sintered together, without having time to spread out in droplets.

Aluminum, chrome steel, copper, bronze, titanium, stainless steels and other common alloys. Desktop Metal 3D printer can work with almost anything, the process is automated to the smallest detail and no metallurgy knowledge is required from the user. But he will have to work with his hands - the finished products are durable and require minimal cleaning from the binder polymer.

The turnkey workstation with all software will cost around $ 120, 000 versus over $ 1 million for metal laser 3D printers. This is the junior model, it is designed for use in laboratories, workshops, art studios and will start selling this year. And the older one, focused on industrial production, will be shown in 2018 and it is she who can launch a new industrial revolution.

Desktop Metal representatives claim that they were able to achieve a metal production rate of 8, 1 thousand cubic meters. see per hour, for complex three-dimensional products. Faster than forging, casting, stamping or milling, with an accuracy of no more than 50 microns. The cost of an industrial 3D printer is within $ 360, 000; it uses raw materials 20 times cheaper than laser counterparts. And the minimum risk to the environment - if at least a quarter of what is stated is true, then humanity is really waiting for very serious changes.