Desktop Metal launches 316L stainless steel for Shop System

Desktop Metal has qualified the use of 316L stainless steel on its Shop metal binder jet 3D printing system.

The Shop System was launched at Formnext 2019 and has been designed for application in machine and metal job shops. It already supports 17-4PH stainless steel and cobalt chrome, but by adding 316L stainless steel to its Shop offering, Desktop Metal believes it will enable the 3D printing of end-use parts with a print quality and productivity ‘unattainable via legacy additive manufacturing processes.’

Renowned for its corrosion resistance, high ductility and excellent mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, 316L stainless steel is well suited to the demanding environments in the marine, pharmaceutical, medical, food preparation and consumer product industries. Desktop Metal’s in-house materials science team has validated that 316L stainless steel printed and sintered using the Shop System meets MPIF standards set by the Metal Powder Industries Federation, while the company has also successfully developed several applications.

Among those applications is a custom spray nozzle used in chemical processing, which is manufactured in batches of several hundred within a week that need only one secondary thread-tapping operation. Desktop Metal has also 3D printed several different watch bezels in the same build, enabling mass customisation, and has developed a medical device closure with ‘minuscule, precise geometries’ that can be printed at volumes of 10,000 units a week.

“The launch of 316L for the Shop System is a part of an aggressive and extensive materials roadmap to broaden our AM 2.0 portfolio and address a rapidly expanding set of use cases for our print platforms,” commented Desktop Metal co-founder and CTO Jonah Myerberg. “We are fully focused on developing opportunities for our customers to produce parts competitively with conventional manufacturing, and we are excited to be able to extend our binder jetting technology to meet this need and address key existing and emerging killer applications for 316L in the market.”

“Wall Colmonoy is excited to have 316L as a new option for the Desktop Metal Shop System,” added Michael Shreeve, Business Development Manager, Precision Components at Wall Colmonoy Limited UK, one of the first users of the Shop System. “We look forward to opening up the additive route to many more customers and component types. This will be of particular interest to our customers as we support them with maintaining supply chains across a wide range of industry sectors, such as petrochemical, power generation, automotive, aerospace and more. As we build upon our existing expertise with wear-resistant alloys such as Colmonoy and Wallex, 316L on the Shop System will be a welcome addition to our additive manufacturing portfolio of materials.”

Desktop Metal has said that a broad portfolio of additional materials for the Shop System is in active R&D, with further releases set to be launched later this year.

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