Toshiba Machine Announces a Metal 3D Printer Ten Times Faster Than Others on the Market
It’s rare to see technology sectors advance as quickly as metal 3D printing has. Until very recently, the technology was lagging a bit behind other forms of 3D printing. Its cost, plus the size of the printers required, limited it mostly to large industrial companies, but just in the last few months there’s been a burst of innovations making metal printers smaller, cheaper and more accessible. From startups like Desktop Metal to major corporations like Additive Industries, this year’s major focus seems to be on advancing metal 3D printing.
The latest company to announce a new metal printer is Toshiba Corporation, which has, in conjunction with its machine tools unit Toshiba Machine, developed a prototype for a metal printer that promises to be ten times faster than most powder bed fusion sintering printers.
The new prototype will be showcased at Monozukuri Matching Japan 2015, taking place in Tokyo December 2-4. The printer, which utilizes laser metal deposition technology, can work with a variety of metals including iron, stainless steel and Inconel, and its key selling point, its speed, was achieved thanks to Toshiba’s knowledge of fluid simulation technology. The corporation developed a nozzle that reduces the area to which the metal particles are deposited, allowing for the laser beam to precisely focus in on the tiny area of deposition. According to Toshiba’s internal testing, the printer can achieve a fabrication speed of 100cc per hour with an 800-watt laser. It’s also capable of building larger structures at a lower cost than currently available methods.
Toshiba, which hopes to have the printer on the market around 2017, is working on improving the prototype to achieve even higher speeds and precision, as well as fine-tuning it to interact with 3D CAD software. In addition to marketing the printer to customers, the company aims to use it to manufacture parts for social infrastructure systems to help them improve their production efficiency.
The new metal printer marks Toshiba’s entrance into the 3D printing market. It’s surprising that the massive corporation, which has a firm hold on other machining sectors such as die casting and injection molding, hasn’t already established itself in 3D printing, but its promise to make metal 3D printing both faster and less expensive should be very appealing to customers. That’s the goal of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, whose program “Technological Development for Next-Generation Industrial 3D Printers and Ultra-High-Precision 3D Shaping Systems” sponsored the development of Toshiba’s new printer. If metal 3D printing continues to grow at the rate that it has been, the technology should look drastically different by 2017, but Toshiba appears to have gotten a pretty good head start.
What are your thoughts on Toshiba entering the market in 2017? Let us know in the Toshiba 3D Printer Forum on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
SmarTech Releases Reports on Aluminum Alloy 3D Printing and the Automotive AM Market
For the last several years, industry analyst firm SmarTech Analysis has been providing the additive manufacturing industry with market data and analysis on topics ranging from 3D printed nanomaterials and metal...
4D Printed Shape Memory Polymers Given Better Performance & Recyclability
Authors Ang Li, Adithya Challapalli, and Guoqiang Li explore a trend that continues to grow: 4D printing. Their findings are explained in the recently published “4D Printing of Recyclable Lightweight...
Successes In 3D Printing Spinal Implants in Two Complex Cases
In the recently published ‘Challenges in the design and regulatory approval of 3D printed surgical implants: a two-case series,’ authors Koen Willemsen, Razmara Nizak, Herke Jan Noordmans, René M Castelein,...
Scientists Use 3D Printed Models to Further Congenital Heart Disease Studies
In the recently published ‘Accurate Congenital Heart Disease Model Generation for 3D Printing,’ researchers explore 3D printing for diagnosis, treatment, and planning in congenital heart disease (CHD) patients. CHD usually...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.