Desktop Metal is launching the new Studio System 2, an updated, office-friendly metal 3D printing technology that builds on the experience of the first Studio System and Studio System+ to offer customers an even more simplified way to 3D print metal parts in low volumes for pre-production and some end-use applications.
“As additive manufacturing adoption advances worldwide, Desktop Metal continues to drive innovations that enable the technology to more effectively compete with conventional manufacturing processes,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “Our next-generation Studio System 2 takes the best features of the original Studio System+ and significantly improves upon them, delivering higher quality end-use metal parts through a more streamlined and accessible process, and within an even smaller footprint.”
It may seem like just yesterday but the Studio System debuted three years ago and has been shipping in volume since 2018, leveraging Desktop Metal’s proprietary Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) technology, and effectively opening up a new era for affordable metal 3D printing. This powder metallurgy-based process uses bound metal rods to shape parts layer-by-layer. The original Studio System, consisting of a printer, debinder and furnace, simplified in-house production of low volumes of complex, high-quality metal parts.
The three-step process (BMP printing, de-binding and sintering) introduced by the Studio System been adopted by hundreds of customers in more than 30 countries, including Ford Motor Company, BMW Group, Eaton Corporation, Google LLC, 3M Company, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Moen Incorporated, and world leading educational institutes such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Texas A&M University, and the Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano).
The next-generation Studio System 2 retains all the critical features of the original Studio System while introducing a simplified two-step process that eliminates the use of solvents with all-new material formulations that allow parts to be transferred directly from the printer into the furnace. The result is an accessible two-step process with a nearly hands-free experience that also reduces consumables usage and overall system footprint.
The new machine has also been upgraded in terms of new print profiles and a reengineered interface layer material for more even shrinkage during sintering and increased part success across an array of geometries. This also leads to enhanced surface finish right out of the furnace across side walls and support-facing surfaces.
A new isotropic triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) infill creates stronger parts, ideal for end-use applications. Vacuum sintering in the Desktop Metal furnace at temperatures of up to 1400°C produces parts and mechanical properties that are similar to castings and meet or exceed Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) standards. At launch, the machine supports 316L stainless steel, however, a broad portfolio of additional materials that take advantage of the new streamlined, two-step process are in active R&D with new releases slated to roll out in 2021. In addition, the Studio System 2 will be backward-compatible through the use of the debinder, with all materials previously supported by the Studio System, including 17-4PH stainless steel, 4140 low alloy steel, H13 tool steel, and copper.
In addition, Desktop Metal’s Fabricate software features new, default print profiles tailored to the Studio System 2 process that further simplify build preparation while still providing users access to more than 90 customizable print settings. Fabricate also generates Separable Support structures with strategic splits to avoid locking during post-processing and fully automates thermal debind and sintering cycles.
“Based on the success of our original Studio System, we know companies around the globe are eager to adopt our new, more streamlined Studio System 2 process to produce difficult-to-machine parts featuring complex geometry like undercuts and internal channels,” said Fulop. “Across manufacturing, tooling, automotive, consumer products and electronics, and medical applications, companies are sharing how additive manufacturing is challenging their design and engineering teams to think differently about how to optimize designs for best-in-class part success.”