Modular solution to transform manufacturing

17th September 2018
Source: 3D Systems
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Modular solution to transform manufacturing

A joint solution from 3D Systems and Georg Fischer AG’s Division GF Machining Solutions, has been announced with the DMP Factory 500 a scalable manufacturing system designed to transform metal manufacturing through simplified workflows to build higher quality seamless metal parts up to 500x500x500mm with lower total cost of operation.

The DMP Factory 500 is a customisable solution comprised of five function-specific modules:

  • Printer Module (PTM): Designed to withstand the rigours of 24/7 production cycles enabling maximum printer uptime and output.
  • Removable Print Module (RPM): Sealed module for powder and part transport between printer, powder, and transport modules featuring a vacuum chamber to ensure the lowest O2 content enabling high quality 3D printed metal parts. Powder waste is eliminated, as the vacuum chamber guarantees consistent high material quality, sufficient to be re-used to depletion.
  • Powder Management Module (PMM): Efficiently de-powders parts on build platforms, automatically recycles unused powder materials, and prepares the RPM for the next build.
  • Transport Module (TRM): Enables efficient movement of the RPMs between printer and powder modules – reducing production time.
  • Parking Module (PAM): Provides interim storage of RPMs in an inert environment until ready for further progression in the workflow (such as, stores a fully prepared RPM for its next print job while the PTM is finishing the previous print job).

The modular design of the DMP Factory 500 enables continuous function of all metal 3D printing and powder management modules to maximise uptime, throughput and operational value. The ability for a manufacturer to create a custom solution, matching the number and type of modules required for their production workflow, helps maximise their investment, while the integrated automation minimises manual processes to reduce total cost of operation. In addition, the DMP Factory 500 system includes seamless data connectivity with all major ERP systems to facilitate supply chain optimisation.

The robust additive manufacturing platform is integrated with GF Machining Solutions’ System 3R referencing and clamping system. Zero point clamping enables optimal positioning of the build plate, facilitating a quick transition from the 3D printer to post-processing steps. This integrated feature reduces set-up times and provides enhanced flexibility by quickly transitioning the build plate from the additive process and sending it downstream for post-processing, saving significant time and money.

Pascal Boillat, president, GF Machining Solutions, stated: “This partnership joins two industry leaders in additive and subtractive manufacturing to deliver a solution that will change production manufacturing environments. The blending of GF Machining Solutions’ precision machining expertise with 3D Systems’ standard-setting additive manufacturing technologies will ultimately redefine metal parts production.”

Automation of the additive manufacturing process is a top priority of this solution, and the companies are focused on developing solutions to seamlessly integrate additive manufacturing technology into the complete manufacturing process chain. To facilitate this, GF Machining Solutions has filed a patent application for a new carrier concept. This flexible solution allows the user to position and locate build plates on the Removable Print Module and provides links to automated conventional machining processes. This concept will contribute significantly to increased automation possibilities and reduction of build plates costs.

The DMP Factory 500 Solution is complemented by integrated software including 3D Systems’ 3DXpert to manage the 3D printing workflow from design to manufacture. Additionally, DMP Monitoring facilitates real-time process monitoring to enable informed decisions on product quality.

Combining 3D Systems’ and GF Machining Solutions’ sales and support networks, DMP Factory 500 customers will have access to a distribution network operating in more than 50 countries. In addition to local technical support, customers will have access to metals manufacturing applications experts at Customer Innovation Centres (CICs) in Leuven, Belgium; Denver, Colorado and Stabio, Switzerland. Customers will be able to collaborate with application engineers in these locations to optimise their DMP Factory 500 system to meet their unique business needs.

Vyomesh Joshi, President and Chief Executive Officer, 3D Systems, added: “The DMP Factory 500 is transforming and redefining how manufacturing gets done. Through our partnership with GF Machining Solutions, manufacturers will have a solution that combines additive and subtractive manufacturing and provides a simplified workflow. As manufacturing continues to advance, customers will start to expect high quality, large part production with significantly reduced total cost of operation, and with the DMP Factory 500, that’s exactly what they’ll get.”

The companies are debuting this first combined solution in conjunction with IMTS 2018 this week in Chicago (3D Systems Booth#431608, GF Machining Solutions Booth #338754). 3D Systems will also feature the DMP Factory 500 at TCT 2018, Booth L24, Hall 3, 25th to 27th September, Birmingham, UK.


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