Direct Metal Laser Sintering Machine Cost | Finally Cheap* Direct Metal 3d Printing – From One Click Metal!

Thomas Sanladerer

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Finally Cheap* Direct Metal 3d Printing - From One Click Metal!


[MUSIC] Today I’m at One-click Metal. They’re a company that have started developing a lower-cost metal 3d printer, one that actually prints, solid metal parts, and we just shot a few episodes for their Youtube channel together, and I thought well, this is. This is really interesting stuff. So you guys might be interested in -, so lets. Check out what they’ve got going. Yeah, so it. The basic setup is like on your regular. FDM printer. You move a printhead around, Just you’re not squeezing out molten plastic. You’re pumping out a laser beam so one-click metal. We basically focus on getting affordable metal 3d printing out there. What we develop is metal 3d printer. It’s a it’s a powder based printer, so this means you can use the parts directly out of the printer, so there’s no no sintering or D binding after the process away and necessary. Currently, you pay around a quarter to half a million in euros per machine, and we try to cut that cost significantly and that’s our main focus, getting the technology out there and enabling as many as possible people to use that technology because currently it’s basically limited to aerospace medical like like vert industries, where money basically doesn’t matter the materials, which we can improve us are currently stainless steel and next step will be aluminium and an tool steel and the density we achieve is normally greater than 99.5% Well, actually, on this machine. Which this the first prototype we built about two years ago. The precision is not as good as on our actual printers that we will release. Obviously it’s a prototype. Yes, yes, but the positioning accuracy we get is about three to five hundredths of a millimeter currently, so that is for for like the parts we want to print, or we think our customers will print with that is more than good enough, okay, so the the biggest component obviously is the actual build chamber where the printing process happens. And as you can see here, it’s all welded shut because you need a gas tight chamber. The process runs under inert gas, and you don’t want to waste that gas, so everything needs to be very gas tight, and you have a powder supply cylinder over here and the actual built cylinder where the part gets built over here and then this is the so-called overflow pin because you always have some excess powder that you scrape over. So those are the three powder bins that the machine works with, and basically, once we go down each layer and fuse the layers to another. You have a welding process which creates fumes and you have to get rid of these fumes or otherwise, your optics will be broken or your. Your dirt is just everywhere in the chamber. So this is this is a laser process, right, wheres-where’s your laser hidden in here well is actually on the backside of the Machine, and we have a connection to the build chamber and route a fiber to our printhead. Just our big difference is that we have a different wavelengths to compare to other metal 3d printers. There’s also one of the reasons why our printer can be significantly cheaper because our laser source can be significantly cheaper. And what’s that what’s the thing with octoprint? So when we started this, we didn’t want to like having to walk around to the printer all the time because it was like on a different floor where we used to where we used to be, so we needed something that works like remote, and it just turned out that octo print also had a very good interface to like, modify it to tailor customer to your needs, and so we just basically started with that and then build our own HMI and user interface around octo print so on the core, we’re running octoprint for connectivity, but on the machine, you will not actually see it. We will not look like your regular octoprint because obviously that’s for FDM printing, and we have a lot of different process steps that that are just not the same or terminology that is not the same so so we had to modify that [Music] [Applause] [Music]. Why can you guys build this machine on the price that you’re expecting to? And why isn’t anyone else doing it? Well, first of all? Actually, we know of at least one startup that is also doing that at a bit higher price tag, though, so they’re also working on a metal fusion printer. Yes, yes, and the the big advantage is that we’ve focused on the most expensive part first and the most expensive part in each machine is the laser. So if you cut a lot of costs from the laser, you cut a lot of cost from the machine in general, and so we like work really hard on getting a very cheap but still fairly good quality laser source developed. And that is basically our our. Voodoo is having our own developed cheap laser source, which is cheaper by a factor of about 8 – comparable lasers at the same energy level. And yeah. I told you earlier that about 40% of the cost of this machine today of building such machines today is the lasers if you cut it by a factor of eight from from just the optical and laser cost that that’s a big chunk of the costs, and then, of course we engineered everything else, not on this one, but on the next machine to be just super-easy manufactured with very easy methods because from the front of base point of view. We thought well in the end. Maybe we want to build us in our basement. Basically, so every part had to be super easy machinable – like with the manual machines. We had at home. How much do patents play into this? Do you guys have access to a patent pool? That may cover some of the stuff you’re doing here. Or how does that work for you? Maybe our patents hindering other competitors of getting into this in the first place. Yeah, that’s a really good question. Actually, your licensing as some of the patents from from other companies because some stuff was just simply developed before we started. But the big core patent of of fusing metal powder with a laser ran out in November, one or two years ago, So basically, there’s the core process is no longer under pet under a patent and so that’s why I think a lot of new players will come up in the next few years, also that will enter this market because it’s it’s just simply available. Now We almost at that point of where Reprap started 10-15 years ago, where they were the F2M patent patent, the core patents ran out and and suddenly people could build those machines without worrying about who was it. Stratasy’s, yeah, without those coming in and saying no. No, that’s our technology. So the kind of the same thing is happening with laser powder bit fusion right now, with metal printing actually at fairs like exhibitions. You see a lot of new bigger companies getting into that business. Just they mostly focus on like, very high industrial, very high automation, and and I’m sure that there’s a big market for that, but we also very much believe that there are a lot of great minded people out there that that will never get access to that technology. If it’s at that price point, it is right now, and that’s kind of what we want to focus on for the material. The cost is a little bit higher than what you would usually get from like your plastics like abs or PLA. But we try to make the material more affordable through large quantities that we order from our sub suppliers so that we can offer it to our customers at a fairly low price and we don’t have exact pricing for that yet, but we want to stay well below 100 euros per kilogram of material to make it more interesting for a wider variety of applications and also the powder is recycled. So whatever you don’t use during the print, you can recycle it and reuse it for for your next print and for that we developed a special system to make it very easy to handle the powder because in the industry. This is still a big issue. The status quo is you have like a bucket and you pour it in your machine, which is very dusty and the powders everywhere, and we try to make that a lot more user-friendly also to lower the barrier of entry for new customers, especially so for existing machines in that size factor, You currently pay around a quarter of a million euros for your entry-level machine with all the stuff that you need software licensing and all the handling equipment and we try to cut that cost by at least a factor of five, so we want to stay below fifty thousand euros, which is for the Hobby user still not a very affordable price tag, but when we started this whole project, we had like the bigger picture in mind that we can get with higher volumes of machines, the price down lower and lower to eventually maybe get closer to the consumer market where where people can buy a printer for. Let’s say less than ten thousand euros and start printing met director parts and have no giant process chain to post process these parts. [MUSIC].