Last week, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) held its annual conference in Chicago, where companies working with 3D printing technologies gathered for a week to talk technology. Recently, we spoke with Munich-based company DyeMansion, which made its first official visit to North America to attend AMUG 2017. As we talked to the team, they had nothing but positive things to say about their experience at the conference, which ran from March 19 to 23.
“As first time attendees we were welcomed very kind. It was a great networking event that felt way more like a laid-back class meeting than a typical sales fair which was really pleasant and the perfect fit for establishing some first contacts in the United States,” Pia Harlaß, Marketing Manager for the company, told us. “We were happy to also meet some of our biggest customers like HP or BMW at AMUG and listened carefully to their presentations about future plans featuring our technology.”
DyeMansion is known for its unique post-processing technology for SLS 3D printed parts, and particularly for its coloring process – the first of its kind for parts additively manufactured from powder. Philipp Kramer, co-founder and CTO, spoke to the conference attendees about the company’s technology and the current market.
“The market is getting more demanding while growing from rapid prototyping to serial production,” Kramer told us. “In the past, post-processing has always been the bottle neck so far. This is why we decided to offer economical post-processing solutions to the AM market three years ago.”
DyeMansion currently offers three products:
- Powershot C, an automated blasting machine that removes excess powder from parts with a rotary basket that eliminates the need for parts to be handled and significantly reduces post-processing time
- Powershot S, an automated surface finishing machine that uses a blasting technique called shot peening to close pores and improve surface quality of parts
- DM60, an automated coloring system for finished parts. Recently DyeMansion introduced an add-on called the DM60 Reservoir, which allows black dye cartridges to be re-used for five dyeing cycles by recirculating wastewater.
The new DM60 Reservoir is set to address dyeing for black, the most popular shade requested, by not discharging the wastewater from the dye bath, but storing and recirculating it for a new color cycle. DyeMansion notes that benefits of the new system include a productivity increase, shortening cycle time and negating the need for manual exchange of color cartridges; cost reduction, including of the five-times reusable cartridge and of power and water resource use; sustainability; and reproducible results, ensuring consistent color quality through all five cycles.
DyeMansion’s solutions are compatible with every powder-based 3D printing system on the market. At the AMUG booth they shared with EOS, the company demonstrated the versatility of their technology by showing off a wide range of parts that had been finished and colored, including eyewear from Powder & Heat, shin guards from Zweikampf, ortheses from Pohlig, and an industrial gripper from Formrise.
“People liked the surfaces and colors a lot, but it seems like consumer products aren’t such a big deal in the US as they are in Europe,” Kramer continued. “We are willing to change that with the help of our technology soon. Our industrial post-processing solutions will enable producing powder-based AM plastics in color and with high quality surfaces. Automated and cost-effective. We figured out that many service providers and OEMs in the US also know the pain of manual dyeing and are really interested in using our automated and contact-free solutions. Our solutions are targeting exactly these people. Service providers as well as OEMs from different industries such as automotive, medical or sports.”
The conference featured presentations from major industry players including Stratasys, EOS, and Carbon, as well as Carl Deckard, the inventor of SLS technology. Other exhibitors included 3D Systems, HP, Renishaw and Somos.
While AMUG may have been DyeMansion’s first trip to the US, it certainly isn’t going to be the last. The company will be back in May for the RAPID + TCT conference in Pittsburgh – 3DPrint.com will be there, too, and we’re looking forward to talking with DyeMansion again, after last seeing them in person on their home turf in Germany at formnext in November. The young company is full of plans for the near future, including expansion to the United States.
“Our current plan is to set up facilities in the US later this year to provide a coloring service and have a show room with our systems for demonstrating our solutions to potential customers,” Harlaß told us. “We also just applied for the German Accelerator, a program for tech startups from Germany that want to come to the US. So if everything goes according to plan, we’ll be in San Francisco from August on. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Discuss in the DyeMansion forum at 3DPB.com.[All images provided to 3DPrint.com by Pia Harlaß]