With Inside 3D Printing São Paulo coming up very quickly, excitement is starting to build: this will be the largest 3D printing event in South America. The buzz is building, and the agenda is incredibly promising, with a multinational group of experienced speakers who certainly have a lot to say.
At the end of both days of the conference, EOS‘ regional manager, José Greses, will be speaking.
At 5:00 on day one, April 4th, his session, “3D Printing: Turn hype into industrial manufacturing solutions,” will dig beyond the hype of additive manufacturing technology to see just what it can actually offer. Additionally, Greses will appear as one of a multinational panel of speakers offering insight into metal technologies; in fact the final session on the agenda for the conference, at 4:00 on April 5th, Greses will represent EOS in the Panel Discussion: “Metal Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry.” Representatives from Germany’s EOS, Concept Laser, and SLM Solutions will appear along with Sweden’s Arcam and Höganäs, as well as the UK’s Renishaw to discuss the outlook for metal AM technologies.
As it turns out, when hearing about events and speakers like this, I’m not the only one who wants to know more; in conjunction with Brazil’s 3D Printing, we now have a look at A Few Questions For José Greses. 3D Printing’s fantastic team offered their inquiries to EOS, and below is a fascinating look at Greses’ thoughts.
We have just published an article on 3DPrinting this week, from 3D Printing Industry, that explains how manufacturer Innomia in Czech Republic applied Direct Metal Laser Sintering to reduce the production time and therefore its costs using a EOSINT M 270. Can you describe at least one more successful case of reduce manufacturing costs involving other kind of industries and EOS machines, and the savings they got in the whole process?
We can offer quite a variety of customer stories – you can all find them here. You can narrow your search by industry. If you e.g. search other tooling cases, please follow this direct, for medical stories this one. With every story, we offer two images for download under the full text. Please make sure to use captions and particularly image sources as indicated on our website as not all images come from EOS.
What kind of industries that yet do not use but could benefit most of Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology nowadays and why?
EOS is currently still serving a rather limited number of industries to keep it manageable for us as a still mid-sized company. These include the aerospace, medical, machinery/robotics, tooling, automotive, lifestyle, Rapid Prototyping industry. Our technology offers a broad variety of advantages and enables fascinating applications for nearly every industry – yet not all of them have already identified the game changing potentials it offers.
Depending on region, the industry focus might differ. If we look at Brazil for example, the key focus industries here are tooling, medical and automotive.
Investment costs for an EOS system start at 200.000 EUR for the smallest plastic system FORMIGA P 110 and go up to around 1.5 Mio for the EOS M 400 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) system. The mid-frame DMLS system EOS M 290 costs around 500.00 EUR.
Do you have many EOS machines operating in Brazil? What kind of industries are already using them and which of them should consider start using EOS machines to reduce industrial processing costs?
Starting its business in Rapid Prototyping back in 1989, EOS constantly further developed the technology to establish Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a production technology of real end parts. We see the first production applications already, e.g. in aerospace. But as production environments in many cases require much more demanding set ups than in prototyping this is a journey we will continue to pursue for the next years.
Do you believe that DMLS technology could be cheaper so that it could be used by small businesses, in the near future?
EOS offers systems at entrance level which particularly meet the needs of small businesses. For this, we just recently introduced the EOS M 100 DMLS system. We will continue to optimize our offerings and will certainly work on prizes too. But at the end of the day our technology enables high-tech solutions for the most demanding industries. As a result, these B2B systems for industrial 3D Printing and expert use will never be available at prices similar to consumer 3D Printers. The entry level equivalent on the plastic side it the FORMIGA P 110 (see link under question 3)
Does DMLS technology require any post processing?
Yes it does in most cases, but depending on application.
What both technologies – DMLS and EBM – have in common is that they are both powder-bed additive technologies, yet each of them uses different energy source (a laser or an electron beam). We can certainly only speak for our technology. They variety and ever growing number of DMLS applications we see in very demanding industries speaks for DMLS which offers a very robust process and system. Innovation here stems from the fact that it has proven already its readiness for production. As quality assurance is a key element in production, we also recently launched the powerful MeltPool Monitoring that offers Automated, intelligent, real-time process monitoring for DMLS.
You closely work with the injection mold industry. Do you think at some point this conventional production process will be overcome by 3D Printing? And if so, how long until it happens?
EOS has many tooling customers that produce hybrid molds using our technology. These hybrid molds are produced by traditional technologies and by DMLS. Both technologies have their advantages depending on applications and requirements of the final part. So we would always suggest the customer uses the technology approach that best serve his needs. Speaking about DMLS, this technology is the best choice when a complex cooling design is needed. As a result the EOS technology enables reduced cycle times and improves the quality of the injected parts.
Some even use DMLS for e.g. repair actions – a good example is the burner repair application at Siemens.
For the direct production of plastic parts, industrial 3D printing of polymers as provided by EOS won´t overtake the conventional injection technology for large series. However, for short series production (up to 500 or 1,000 parts, depending on the geometry) the EOS technology is the most economical solution and is taking market shares from the rapid tooling sector.
Do you think it is possible that we get to a point of having multi-technique machines, like cnc milling, metal powder, plastic powder and laser cutting, all-in-one? Multifunctional machines are already appearing in the low-end spectrum, but are they feasible in the high-end?
What we will certainly see over the next years with AM-enabled production applications is that they will be integrated into existing production environments which today are still mostly dominated by conventional technologies. EOS just entered into a strategic partnership with GF Machining Solutions that is designed to combine the best of both worlds in one approach. Here, GF and EOS will undertake the integration of the additive manufacturing machines into the production process of mold inserts, including the necessary software and automation link with downstream machine-tools and measuring devices.
Realistically speaking we e.g. do not see systems performing plastic and metal AM in one system as the complex processes behind this are behaving differently, perform on completely different heat levels etc. Generally speaking it is also not common to have laser machines, which have been in the market for longer time, that do cutting, welding and drilling at the same time. Typically, production machines do one thing in a very efficient way. We believe that the same will be for this sector for the next years. So the goal will rather be to interlink all types of machines in the best way possible to enable a seamless production that takes advantage of all attached technologies.
How green are your 3D Printing technologies? Does it involve lots of residues? Are the leftovers recyclable?
It certainly always depends on how you define “green”. When talking about reusability of materials, resource-saving use of materials and the development of sustainable product solutions the answer is yes. Let me give you some examples: Powder-based AM technologies such as Laser Sintering offered by EOS provide a manufacturing process that in contrast to conventional, subtractive technologies only uses the material that is really needed for the end part. Talking about e.g. the plastic AM technology remaining powder from a build process can be re-used – after cleansing and mixing with new powder – for the next part production. Our technology also enables lightweight structures which not only offer a resource-saving use of materials but as well help to achieve sustainability targets in particular industries. In aerospace for example, AM enables lightweight structures which in return lead to CO2 emissions and use of cerosene. Also see a study we conducted with our customer EADS some time ago. We constantly seek to reduce energy consumption of our systems. And altogether follow a holistic approach here.
Inside 3D Printing São Paulo runs April 4th and 5th, at the Frei Caneca Convention Center. Remember that 3DPrint.com readers can save 10% on Inside 3D Printing Conference events by using discount code 3DPRINT at registration!