Guest blog by Stefan Dahl, head of advanced manufacturing, GF Machining Solutions
Just two months ago, GF Machining Solutions and 3D Systems announced a partnership which brings together additive and subtractive solutions to transform manufacturing. The first solution resulting from the partnership is the new DMP Factory 500. This modular metal factory solution is optimized for scalability, repeatable high-quality metal parts, high throughput and low total cost of operation. It uniquely combines additive technology with subtractive solutions - tuned to deliver 24/7 operation for rapid, tool-free production of metal parts.
At GF Machining Solutions, we see this strategic partnership as a ‘win-win-win’ situation for all parties involved: 3D Systems, GF Machining Solutions, and most importantly, the customer. We share a common vision of offering best-in-class solutions to our customers across the globe, and both companies are dedicated to providing our customers with a complete technology portfolio and advanced services.
The modular design of the DMP Factory 500 enables continuous function of all metal 3D printing and powder management modules to maximize uptime, throughput and operational value. The modules include:
- Printer Module (PTM), is designed to print 24/7 for maximum output
- Removable Print Module (RPM), a sealed module for powder and part transport between modules, featuring a vacuum chamber with the lowest O2 content to provide the highest quality parts
- Powder Management Module (PMM) for efficient depowdering of parts and recycling of materials
- Transport Module (TRM), which enables efficient movement of the RPMs between other modules.
- Parking Module (PAM) for interim storage of RPMs in an inert environment until ready for further progression into the workflow.
The ability for a manufacturer to build a custom solution—matching the number and type of modules required for their production workflow—helps optimize the investment, while the integrated automation minimizes manual processes to reduce total cost of operation.
The DMP Factory 500 is integrated with GF Machining Solutions’ System 3R referencing and clamping system. Zero point clamping enables optimal positioning of the build plate, facilitating a quick transition from 3D printer to post-processing steps. This integrated feature reduces set-up times and provides enhanced flexibility by quickly transitioning the build plate from the additive process and sending it downstream for post-processing, saving significant time and money.
For GF Machining Solutions, this partnership means that we are able to provide our extensive knowledge and experience in areas such as Milling, EDM, Laser texturing and Automation to customers within the Additive Manufacturing industry. Combining 3D Systems' metal additive manufacturing expertise with GF Machining Solutions' long-standing subtractive metal manufacturing knowledge provides a solid basis to turn our joint vision into reality. Being able to profit from each other's research will enable both of us to provide the best solutions for manufacturers in need of high-quality production of complex metal parts.