Though RAPID+TCT 2018 may have wrapped up last week, the news from the additive manufacturing event is still rolling in. One of the exciting announcements from the event comes from New York-based metal 3D printing company Vader Systems, which presented three new AM offerings based on its patented Magnet-o-Jet technology. The three new systems include the Vader Polaris liquid metal 3D printing system, the Magnet-o-Jet Subsystem for hybrid manufacturing equipment integration and the Ares Microsphere Production System.
Founded in 2013 by a father and son team, Vader Systems has become a key player in the wire feedstock subsection of the metal additive manufacturing market. That is, rather than use fine metal powders and laser sources to construct 3D structures, the company’s Magnet-o-Jet technology relies on electromagnetic forces to “propel liquefied metals” to build up parts.
Though limited in its materials—the Vader Polaris only supports aluminum wire feedstock—Vader Systems’ technology does present a metal AM solution with cheaper operating expenses and faster production times than many powder-based systems. With its three new AM offerings, the company says it is aiming to provide customers with “greater flexibility” to adopt its technology.
The first product in the company’s announcement is the Vader Polaris liquid metal 3D printing system, described as “a turnkey system used to transform metal 3D parts from conceptualization to actualization.” Based on Vader’s Magnet-o-Jet technology, the Polaris 3D printer uses a 1200°C ceramic chamber to melt aluminum feedstock down to a molten state. The molten metal is then electromagnetically pulsed, allowing for the material to be precisely deposited—drop by drop—using a ceramic nozzle.
According to Vader Systems, the Polaris 3D printer is capable of processing a range of aluminum alloys, including 6061 and 7075, and can turn out metal parts at rapid rates, low costs and with almost no material waste. The company also emphasizes that the Magnet-o-Jet printer has fewer safety requirements than powder-based metal AM systems because the input materials are non-hazardous.
The Magnet-o-Jet Subsystem is a customizable configuration offered by Vader Systems that is built for easy integration into hybrid manufacturing workstations. The idea is that manufacturers can produce parts using the metal AM technology and finish them using CNC and machining equipment all in one system.
Ares Microsphere Production System
Finally, the Ares Microsphere Production System is designed for producing “highly uniform and consistent metal microspheres for on-demand usage.” The metal microspheres, called Vaderite, have been extensively tested by a national lab (with positive results) and are suitable for use in powder-based systems. Because of their consistency, 100% yield rates and narrow particle size distribution, Ares-made micropheres offer good flowability and promote less material wastage.
“Our new technology platforms emphasize Vader’s unique ability to be the agile additive solution for the market,” commented Scott Vader, president of Vader Systems.