3D Lab will present the final version of its ATO Lab AM powder atomizer at the upcoming Formnext 2018 show in Frankfurt. Last year, the Polish distributor of industrial 3D printer presented its first concept machine Formnext 2017, in a celebration of the company’s 10th year on the market. The ATO One was the first (and only) commercial metal powders atomizer in the world made to operate in a laboratory environment. 3D Lab reported dozens of preorders, opening up a new chapter in its history.
A big part of 3D printing evolution is to democratize manufacturing by bringing once unattainable industrial systems to a cost that is accessible to wider demographics. It happened with SLA and FDM systems, with 3D scanners and SLS systems (to a degree) and even with robotic devices. Polish companies, like Zortrax, have often been at the forefront of this race.
Democratizing atomization with ATO Lab
Now the new ATO Lab stands out as the first machine of this type in the world that allows atomization of small amounts of metal powders. It has been designed for research on new types of materials, but according to specialists from 3D Lab, it could also be implemented in a variety of applications. Beside ATO, the most affordable atomization systems of this kind on the market can cost well over €1 million, with the additional cost requirements for the necessary infrastructure. construction. ATO Lab costs just a fraction and can be installed in almost every laboratory.
The technology of ultrasonic atomization used in the ATO Lab allows obtaining spherical particles with a diameter of 20 μm to 100 μm. The whole process is carried out in an inert gas atmosphere. The machine is able to atomize materials such as aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and precious metals.
The ATO Lab software has also been designed in a way that is as user-friendly as possible – communication with the machine takes place via an intuitive touchscreen, and the user has control over many process parameters.
Advantages of the ATO Lab include the ability to work with very small amounts of high-quality atomized powders, as well as a wide range of supported materials and relatively low production costs. The atomization system’s potential has already convinced Polish venture capital company Altamira, which invested 6,6 mln PLN (€1,5 mln) to develop the atomizer manufacturing plant and to build a global distribution channel. The company used this capital to move its operations to a brand new facility, located in the Polish Capital Warsaw.