Lithoz, an Austria-based company specializing in ceramic additive manufacturing, has announced the formation of a new company: Incus GmbH. The new company, which will make its debut at Formnext 2019, will provide metal additive manufacturing solutions based on the stereolithography process.
Described as an evolution of Lithoz, Incus will introduce a new series of metal 3D printers: the Hammer Series. The technology that drives the hardware relies on photopolymerization and is capable of producing metal parts with excellent surface quality and high reproducibility. Moreover, Incus’ metal AM process can reportedly achieve rapid print rates and cost-efficient production.
The Hammer series 3D prints green parts from a photoreactive, metal-filled feedstock using a high-performance projector. The process eliminates the need for protective gas atmosphere solutions and makes for a safer printing environment. This feature also makes it easier to print, as it requires less elaborate process parameters than other metal AM processes. Parts 3D printed using the technology must undergo debinding and sintering in order to reach final metallic properties.
“With our new printer series, it is not only possible to produce very small complex components with the finest of surface structures, but also to use new metal powder mixtures, such as non-weldable powders,” said Dr. Gerald Mitteramskogler, CEO of Incus. “We have already seen in material development projects with our customers that we can achieve similar material properties compared to metal injection molding…We are always eager to tackle the challenges related to new materials or geometries to benchmark our process.”
Incus (and its founding company Lithoz) have reportedly had two beta 3D printers in use for development for over a year. Results from this beta phase have been promising, with feasibility studies showing that many expectations are being met. The technology is expected to have applications in various industries, including medical, automotive, aerospace and luxury jewelry.
“When Dr. Mitteramskogler started working on metal powders using the basis of Lithoz technology, I was immediately intrigued by the new possibilities,” said Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz. “I am now happy and proud to see the successful development of this new technology. We wish Gerald and his team every success and are happy to have once again contributed to the 3D hub in Vienna.”
Incus’ metal AM technology will be offered to customers as a modular package comprising of hardware, software, materials, service package, technical support and even material development partnership. The idea is to offer clients a metal AM solution that can be tailored to their needs.