Revolution in stamping: Desktop Metal introduces new Digital Sheet Forming tech
Figur G15 Digital Sheet Forming system. [Credit: Desktop Metal]
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please watch the video -- very informative.
Desktop Metal has just launched Figur G15, the first commercial platform of its kind to shape standard sheet metal on demand directly from a digital design file using all-new, patent-pending Digital Sheet Forming (DSF) technology -- no stamping tools, molds, dies, or presses required.
While digital cutting tools are commonly used today and have delivered many benefits to the $300 billion sheet metal forming and fabrication industry, no turnkey digital sheet forming solutions have been widely commercialized. Nearly all solutions for rapid production of sheet metal parts require custom forming tools, molds, or dies, which typically have long lead times and are expensive to produce.
The Figur G15's Digital Sheet Forming (DSF) tech can process sheet metal up to 1,600 x 1,200 mm (63.0 x 47.2 in.) in size. The sheet metal designs shown here were produced on the G15 in 15 to 90 min. and range in size from about 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 in.) to 91 x 91 cm (3 x 3 ft) in a range of steel thicknesses from 1.2 to 0.51 mm (18 to 24 Ga). [Credit: Desktop Metal]
Figur's breakthrough DSF technology maintains high precision with a flexible, incremental forming approach through a proprietary build box design that reduces force distribution across the sheet during the build. This unique solution eliminates high startup costs and long lead times associated with custom tools, molds, and dies to unlock the benefits of digitization for sheet metal manufacturers, improving their business agility and making sheet metal forming accessible to new applications across a range of volumes.
It's pretty neat. It uses 3D design files and a stylus to stamp out (or push out) parts, much like the experimental Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology (F3T) Designfax reported on back in July 2013 -- but this new system is much more refined, and it's no longer just a proof of concept.
Watch the Figur technology in action below.
Technically speaking, the Figur G15 features a software-driven ceramic toolhead on an XY gantry that progressively forms large metal sheets layer by layer with up to 2,000 lb of force. With a forming area of 1,450 x 1,000 mm (57 x 39 in.) in X and Y, the Figur G15 can process positive and negative forms up to 400 mm (16 in.) in the vertical Z direction. A wide variety of metals and sheet thicknesses can also be processed, including steel up to 2.0 mm thick and aluminum up to 2.5 mm.
Of course, there are tradeoffs, especially in batch production time, but for certain end-use applications and prototyping this new Digital Sheet Forming technology could be a real winner.
Even more at IMTS 2022
Desktop Metal will showcase its broad portfolio of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 technologies -- including more than 350 metal, polymer, sand, and wood 3D-printed parts -- in booths #432212 and #433103 at IMTS 2022 (Sept. 12-17) at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Besides the new Figur G15 Digital Sheet Forming system, Desktop Metal will be demonstrating:
The Shop System, now the world's best-selling metal binder jetting system with new configurations for power users, including the Shop System+ and the Shop System Pro. Desktop Metal Booth #433103 and SolidCAM Booth #134502 in the East Building.
The Production System P-1, an industrial manufacturing platform powered by Desktop Metal's Single Pass Jetting tech.
The Studio System, an office-friendly, two-step Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) printer, now featuring an industry-leading eight metal materials.
The S-Max Flex, a robotic AM 2.0 system that makes sand 3D-printing affordable to foundries worldwide. Designed for turnkey ease of use, S-Max Flex uses SPJ technology to print at high speeds delivering low part costs.
The ETEC Xtreme 8K, the world's largest production-grade DLP polymer printer featuring two top-down video projectors, as well as the ETEC Envision One. ETEC systems 3D print a wide range of materials and exclusively offer DuraChain photopolymers, such as Elastic ToughRubber and FreeFoam.