Desktop Metal has entered into a collaboration with the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Production Technologies IAPT for the purpose of developing new, specialty materials for its Studio System+. The materials developed through the joint effort will reportedly become available to Studio System+ customers within Europe.
To enable the Fraunhofer IAPT team to best create the specialized materials, Desktop Metal has equipped the research institute with the Studio System+. With the hardware in tow, the Fraunhofer IAPT researchers will be able to customize materials for the machine and find the best parameters for a given material or application.
The Studio System+, announced in September 2018, is a follow-up to the original Studio System, the “world’s first and only office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping.” The metal AM system, along with the soon-to-be-released Production System, has made Desktop Metal a key player in the metal AM segment as it offers a more accessible (cheaper, faster, easier) entry into metal AM.
As part of the collaboration agreement, Fraunhofer IAPT will begin to offer its own customers (and Desktop Metal customers) AM services using the Studio System+ metal 3D printer. On its end, Desktop Metal will initiate the manufacturing, marketing and selling of the new metal materials that the Fraunhofer IAPT develops.
Though the companies have not yet hinted at what types of alloys or metal consumable will be produced for the Desktop Metal platform, it will be interesting to see the first products to come out of the partnership. The Fraunhofer IAPT has nearly two decades of experience researching and innovating within the field of additive manufacturing. Desktop Metal is the latest in a string of high profile industry partnerships.
The partnership between Desktop Metal and Fraunhofer IAPT was made public last week at Formnext, where Desktop Metal also announced a number of major updates to its upcoming Production System metal 3D printer. According to the company, the first units of its much anticipated system will be installed in early 2019.