UK AM centre to install Digital Metal printer

The UK’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, which is based at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, has installed a 3D printer from the Danish company Digital Metal.

Ralf Carlstrom, general manager of Digital Metal

The Manufacturing Technology Centre was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation, as part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which is supported by Innovate UK.

The MTC is home to the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM), which was set up to ensure that companies of any size could get support on how to understand and adopt AM for their business. As such it offers advice on a comprehensive range of AM processes, from initial design to final delivery of pre-production parts as well as access to various 3D printing technologies.

The new printer from Digital Metal will be available to both the NCAM member companies and other organisations interested in testing the technology and the capabilities of binder jetting. This technology is not available anywhere else in the UK and so the idea is that it will give British companies a chance to understand how this technology works, particularly on small, highly complex, high precision parts, which is really the sort of production that the Digital Metal machines are best suited for rather than large-scale parts.

Dr David Brackett, AM technology manager at the NCAM, explains: “The Digital Metal binder jetting technology falls into the category of ‘bind-and-sinter AM’, where a multi-stage process chain incorporating sintering is required to achieve full density.” 

He adds: “It’s a very fast technology that can create complicated and highly detailed designs, and there is potential for wider material choice than with AM processes that use melting. We are delighted to be able to offer this to the companies we work with.”

The printer will be delivered in July, with staff at the NCAM currently training to use it safely.The printer itself should be fully operational by August.

You can find more information about the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at http://ncam.the-mtc.org, and about the printer itself at digitalmetal.tech


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