MELD Manufacturing announced a new machine model, the L3, a medium-sized machine that lets MELD target intermediate-sized manufacturing applications. The company’s small and large machines have been used for scalable manufacturing; the new machine promises similar scalability while capturing businesses that need medium-sized metal additive manufacturing beds.
The L3 is a compact increase in production capacity. It boasts a table size of 51” by 23”, which is smaller than MELD’s K2 machine (86.6” by 43”), but larger than the B8 (42” by 18”). This mid-size table allows for a build volume of 45” by 23” by 23”, or 14.2 cubic feet. The machine’s footprint is 10’ by 8’ by 13’. Like all MELD products, the L3 can use powders, combinations of powers, or solid metal bars.
MELD markets itself as an industry leader in metal additive manufacturing machines. The technology animating its systems stirs softened metals into shapes on the machine table. Its machines are unique because they do not melt metals during production. MELD machines also operate in open-air conditions. The machines produce scalable parts. Without melting metals, the parts created by MELD’s machines are “fully dense”: they do not leave pockets of space. This advantage means that MELD parts have much smaller grain size, which allows the manufactured metals to withstand greater stress.
These design advantages are significant because MELD systems allow for high material throughput. MELD suggests that its machines can deposit metals ten times faster than other metal additive processes; MELD also highlights fewer steps in its manufacturing processes. Small- and intermediate-sized manufacturing clients benefit from this kind of throughput in modestly sized machines.
MELD machines push the limits of metal additive manufacturing. Its small B8 model is installed at the University of North Texas. Researchers at the Center for Agile and Adaptive Additive Manufacturing use it to test materials’ durability in research. MELD has also used the B8 to create the world’s largest additive manufactured aluminum cylinder. The part’s diameter came to 3.05 meters.