Whether it is 3D Systems’ sky scraping ProX 400 metal machine, Big Rep’s actual size furniture printing or Stratasys two-tier jam packed stand, Euromold 2014 seems to be the land of the big and the bold; but two industry experts we’ve spoken to both recommended that we check out Höganäs stand and took a look at some of their highly detailed prints at the opposite end of the size scale.
Höganäs is the world’s largest producer of powdered metals for customers throughout the metallurgical industries but it is the Digital Metal arm that is piquing interest at EuroMold. The Swedish company have been working with metal additive manufacturing since 2010 but after acquiring fellow Swedish additive manufacturing firm fcubic in 2012 the development was ramped up.
Digital Metal uses a proprietary precision ink-jet technology for making complex highly detailed metal parts. Speaking to Hans Kimblad, Technical Sales Manager, quickly reveals just what is so special about the process.
“We often get asked the question how big can you make things? But we prefer the question how small can we make parts? There are a lot of applications that require precision and you cannot achieve that with any other process”
As you can see from the pictures the level of detail on my parts in the palm of my hand (my hands have been compared to that of Sylvanian Family hands i.e. they’re tiny) is like no other metal process we’ve seen.
The intricacy of the parts is fairly astonishing and it is easy to see why somebody like Bathsheba Grossman - whose intricate designs really show off Höganäs’ process - is so full of praise for Digital Metal.
“So far no other metal additive manufacturing technology can match the level of resolution and surface quality provided by Digital Metals” says the sculptor in Höganäs brochure.
Höganäs offer the Digital Metal technology as a service using the likes of TCT Show + Personalize and Euromold to drum up interest in this unique process of printing stainless steel. For the moment the only material available is stainless steel but Hans says that at the beginning of next year there will be a new grade of stainless steel available and other material development is in the pipeline.
For more information on Höganäs Digital Metal visit the website www.hoganas.com/digitalmetal and if you are interested in working with the process you can email firstname.lastname@example.org