California-based 3DEO manufacturers 3D-printed metal parts using its own proprietary printers. With a heavy focus on reducing the per-part cost of metal 3D printing, the company claims its patent-pending Intelligent Layering technology is able to fabricate parts that meet quality MPIF Standard 35 and reduce the final cost of printing a part by as much as 80 percent. The company primarily works with stainless steel powder but is currently developing technology to print with other metals as well including Inconel, nickel alloy, cobalt chrome, titanium, soft magnetic alloys, Tungsten heavy alloy, and bronze, copper, and brass.
Suppliers take note
Parts consumers are not the only ones benefiting from 3D printing. Metal parts supplier 3DEO makes precision-engineered metal components on demand with its proprietary 3D metal printers featuring patented Intelligent Layering technology. The company specializes in manufacturing low/medium volumes, including complex part designs, and is selectively accepting new high-volume orders.
Even though additive manufacturing and 3D printing (AM/3DP) are still in the early adoption phase by most medical device manufacturers (MDMs), these technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Today, most AM/3DP applications in the medical industry are for prototype development, anatomical models, and “one-off” custom components. 3D-printed surgical instrumentation and cutting guides for procedures such as knee, spinal, and dental implants are on the rise. On the manufacturing side, AM/3DP is used to make components for prototype mold tools, conformal cooling inserts for production tools, and jigs and fixtures for making or inspecting production parts.
Although AM/3DP has made great strides in equipment hardware and material science, it is still several years from being accepted as a viable process for scaled, precision, cost-effective manufacturing. That said, AM/3DP continues to drive innovation through advances in mass customization, low cost in low volumes, design flexibility and freedom, and transforming the supply chain with on-demand manufacturing.
“3D printing, with its digital manufacturing, has the potential to completely change the game for manufacturers” – Matt Sand, President of 3DEO
3D metal printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process where metal powder is fused together, layer by layer, to make objects derived from digital data. The benefits of 3D metal printing including reduction in material loss, adaptability, and shortened production times. Additive manufacturing has the potential to lead to a 5-27% reduction in global energy consumption by 2050. Cameron Chateauneuf, CEO of ErgoKiwi, discusses how they use additive manufacturing with 3DEO to keep production cost and energy consumption low. 3D metal printing adoption is rapidly growing and experts project the industry could be worth as much as $10 billion over the next 15 years.
Advances in 3D printing could make medtech mass customization a reality. Matt Sand, president of 3DEO, will discuss the role of 3D printing in medtech in the MD&M Minneapolis session, “3D Printing: The Journey from Prototyping to Production to Metal 3DP.” His October 31 talk will include five tips for moving from prototyping to production.
“Metal serial production is the holy grail,” says Matt Petros, chief executive officer of Gardena, California-based 3DEO. “We intend to deliver hundreds of thousands of parts, creating additive technology at scale.”
Although additive manufacturing (AM) has been around for decades, it’s much younger than metal fabrication. That’s what makes it appeal to so many metal fabricators, including those who will be stopping by the Additive Manufacturing Pavilion at next month’s FABTECH® show in Atlanta. There’s an excitement to it, a feeling of untapped possibilities. There’s hype, of course, but within that hype are gems of opportunity, and sheet metal fabricators are just starting to find them.
Digging into metal additive manufacturing quickly reveals how expensive it can be, as some parts produced using incumbent technologies, such as laser sintering and binder jetting, can cost thousands of dollars. If there's one lesson Matt Sand, President of 3DEO, a Los Angeles, California-based metal AM parts supplier, has learned over the last few years, it's that cost is everything when it comes to serial production.
The central driver behind 3DEO is this: “a maniacal focus on making parts,” says Matt Sand, company president. The Gardena, California, startup is beginning to ramp up production, turning out thousands of metal 3D-printed parts per month. But 3DEO isn’t just an AM user. The company is also a technology developer, having created its own printer, software and process all for the purpose of volume production.