Incus, an Austrian company that produces lithography-based AM solutions, shipped its first Hammer Lab35 system in March 2020 and has since brought the series into full production through 2020. The company has defied the pandemic downturn to bring its product to bear at a time when 3D printing is beginning to be more appreciated by more conventional industry.
The Hammer Lab35 was first introduced at Formnext 2019, where it served as Incus’s flagship. The startup then garnered some attention for its machine; 2020 saw the system’s uptake.
The manufacturing industry increasingly demands 3D printing solutions capable of offering intricate geometries for functional prototypes and pre-series manufacturing. Incus’s lithography-based metal manufacturing (LMM) process heeds this call. The technology provides an economical method for developing prototypes and small-scale production of components in metal injection moulding (MIM) quality. The Incus LMM technology and its flagship series machine, Hammer Lab35, gives the manufacturer superior feature resolution, surface aesthetics and mechanical properties for part sizes <200 g, a combination achieved for the first time in metal AM.
With a print speed of up to 100 cm3/h and a lateral resolution of 35 µm, the Hammer Lab35 printing solution is designed to deliver high quality parts. The process can be easily integrated into existing MIM production lines or research and development departments as an option for small-scale production and prototyping. Two Hammer Lab35 machines are already in operation at the Institute for Precious and Technology Metals at Pforzheim University and its spin-off company, Metshape. Within this cooperation, the process and system are reviewed and tested, and new materials and applications are being developed. This valuable feedback helps Incus to adapt the machine and the feedstocks to the needs of the manufacturing industry.
The company’s CEO Dr. Gerald Mitteramskogler said that:
Despite this challenging year, we had great collaborations with customers and have proven that LMM has the potential to increase performance and to reduce costs for small and mid-scale production, as well as for manufacturing parts featuring complex geometries. Our team is extremely proud to have added 3D printing of metals with lithography to the manufacturing landscape. We highly appreciate the trust and patience of our first customers that have been helping to develop our product and our company. We still have a journey ahead to scale up to mass-production, but we are eager to continue this path in 2021.