Desktop Metal, a company based in Massachusetts, has created a new way to manufacture metal that may change the world: 3D printing. It actually turns out to be faster, safer, and cheaper than existing systems.
Currently, 3D printing is mostly used with plastics, and only huge companies like NASA or Boeing use laser melted metal printing, but this process is considerably slow and expensive. However, Desktop Metal has changed the entire landscape of the industry. After raising money, Desktop Metal expects to make reliable metal printing up to 100 times faster and to reduce initial costs tenfold and the cost of materials twentyfold in comparison to existing laser technologies by using a much wider range of alloys. These machines might be the tipping point for large scale 3D manufacturing.
Desktop Metal’s machines are practical to own in an office, since there are no dangerous equipment such as metal powders and lasers involved. In summary, its product works similarly to a plastic 3D printer in terms of its low maintenance and lack of special support equipment.
The metals that the printer uses comes in rod form, bound to a polymer binding agent and shipped in cartridges. But there are numerous metal options – basically anything you can use in a Metal Injection Molding system, including aluminum, copper, bronze, a range of stainless steels, and more than 200 others.
Desktop Metal is still a startup, but we all have huge hopes that one day, their dream of allowing regular consumers to easily and inexpensively 3D print metal will be fulfilled. It would be the start of a new era of manufacturing. And who knows, maybe even skyscrapers in the future will be 3D printed.