Metal additive manufacturing industry leader EOS has joined forces with a laser micromachining systems provider to form a new micro laser sintering (MLS) company.
3D-Micromac, a provider of laser micromachining systems based in Chemintz, and fellow German business EOS have pooled their technological expertise in MLS by establishing a new company, 3D MicroPrint GmbH.
3D MicroPrint's mission is to advance the development and commercialisation of MLS technology and to establish more solutions in the arena of micro technology. Among the applications the new venture is targeting are automotive, medical and jewellery, as he technology is ideal for making the nozzles these high-precision industries require. Moreover, there has been encouraging demand for micro parts in both aerospace and mould-making.
3D-Micromac and EOS have been developing MLS jointly for eight years. The first system successfully began operation at a German research institute earlier this year.
Joachim Göbner, formerly project head of MLS at EOS and head of the technical centre in Chemnitz, and Tino Petsch, CEO of 3D-Micromac, have been appointed as business managers of 3D MicroPrint.
Mr Göbner stated: "With layer thicknesses of 5 µm and less, and focus diameters of under 30 µm, MLS technology opens up new dimensions in additive manufacturing. It is even possible to produce moveable component assemblies."
Tino Petsch added: "Our timing is virtually perfect. The current 3D printing hype shows that our investment in the development of MLS systems was exactly right. We now offer a trend-setting solution that opens up new approaches in product development and manufacturing for our customers."
Dr Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, remarked: "Demand for very small parts which are difficult to manufacture using conventional processes is rising tremendously. MLS provides solutions for three major trends: individualisation, functional integration and miniaturisation."
3D MicroPrint has already moved into new, larger premises on the Chemnitz Smart Systems Campus, where development and service capacities are being expanded.
Using additive manufacturing, even a batch size of one can be produced at reasonable cost-per-part. The technology offers a high degree of freedom of design and the capacity to integrate and optimise functionality. Individualisation of products in series production processes can be accomplished without difficulty.