It’s been a little over two years since Netherlands-based Admatec, or Additive Manufacturing Technologies, hit the 3D printing scene with its fleet of four ADMAFLEX 2.0 rapid ceramics 3D printers. Since then, Admatec, which was founded as the result of a cooperation between Formatec Ceramics and Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), introduced its first comprehensive ceramic 3D printing system, the ADMAFLEX 130, which was available for pre-order and displayed at TCT Show + Personalize just a few short months ago. Now the company is making its grand entrance into the metal 3D printing arena: Admatec, together with ECN, will be presenting the ADMETALFLEX 3D printer in Chicago this month, at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference taking place from March 19 to 23.
The ADMETALFLEX is part of Admatec’s ADMAFLEX series, and 3D prints using high-quality metal materials. As we know, metal 3D printing is all the rage right now, with companies like O.R. Lasertechnologie and 3D Systems unveiling new machines this year; The Virtual Foundry even released its Filamet material, which turns FDM 3D printers into metal ones. In comparison to industry standards, the ADMETALFLEX, which prints with a filled phototsensive DLP resin combined with a debinding and sintering process, enables parts to be printed with fine features, low-surface roughness values, and no residual stresses.
The ADMETALFLEX gets some of its features from Admatec’s original ADMAFLEX technology, such as the continued material throughput system and film technology.
“With this product, Admatec is underlining its strong cooperation with ECN and the dedication to push the ADMAFLEX technology to more applications and broader market acceptance,” said Michiel de Bruijcker, Admatec’s managing director. “Pulling off this task will strengthen ADMATEC’s market position as a leading additive manufacturing brand!”
Admatec controls the entire cycle of product development, starting with materials, through machine development, manufacturing, and process development, so the company recognizes the growth potential of 3D printing technology. As evidenced by its ceramic 3D printer, Admatec definitely knows what it’s doing when it comes to powder metallurgy, and so does ECN, which is the Netherlands’ largest research institute for sustainable energy. ECN works on projects all over the world; its major areas of focus include solar and wind energy, biomass, system integration, and energy efficiency. It was the plan all along to go from the ceramic 3D printer and launch a metal 3D printer.
“High-quality material combined with form freedom and fine product details were the goal of our development,” explained Jaco Saurwalt, director of the Engineering & Materials department at ECN. “By improving both the process as well as the machine the current ADMATEC ceramics printing technology has been extended to high-density metals.”
The ADMETALFLEX will print metal components that are traditionally manufactured by CNC machining and Metal Injection Molding (MIM); Admatec has especially high expectations for the fast-growing MIM market. If you’re lucky enough to have scored a ticket to AMUG this year, you’ll get to see Admatec and ECN’s new ADMETALFLEX 3D printer in person. Discuss in the ADMETALFLEX forum at 3DPB.com.