EOS, one of the top suppliers of industrial metal and polymer 3D printers, had a busy 2017, with the introduction of a new 3D printer and software updates, a new material and metal powder handling system, a new CEO, and multiple new partnerships. Today, the German company is announcing two more collaborations with companies interested in using its metal 3D printing solutions to optimize their own products; the first of these is with technology company Continental AG, which develops innovative services and technologies for the sustainable and connected mobility of people.
Continental was founded in 1871, and offers efficient and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, and traffic. The company is investing in industrial 3D printing for the serial production of high-quality metal parts, and has purchased several EOS M 290 metal 3D printing systems.
The EOS M 290, with a build volume of 250 x 250 x 325 mm, allows for the flexible, cost-effective, and rapid production of high-performance metal 3D printed components from CAD data. For the purposes of industrial manufacturing projects, the system offers an intuitive user interface, improved filter system, and an intelligent software concept, which combines both open and standardized parameter sets.
The reliable system’s solution portfolio comes with quality management and software solutions for data preparation, and works with a wide range of validated materials, so users can deploy 3D printing to efficiently address production challenges. Continental will use the EOS metal 3D printing systems to produce high-quality metal components in series, and it has also received support from EOS in not only installing the systems and launching manufacturing capacities, but also in developing applications and training employees how to use the EOS M 290.
“We are very proud of our joint project with Continental and look forward to supporting the customer throughout every stage of the project,” said Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Region Export at EOS. “In particular, the strong spirit of teamwork between our two companies was a key criterion in Continental’s decision to work together with EOS. We will also be very happy to provide Continental with any assistance it may need in other fascinating projects going forward.”
Within two months, EOS had installed the M 290 systems at the Continental plants, and helped the staff get started on its additive manufacturing capacities.
EOS has also announced a partnership with 3D metal service provider Integrated 3D Manufacturing (i3D), in order to help the company expand its metal AM production capabilities in the wake of customer demand. The company has grown its customer base by 60% year over year since it was founded in 2013, and is a preferred provider for design engineers and R&D firms looking for cost-effective manufacturing solutions for 3D metal printed parts.
i3D specializes in the aerospace industry, specifically in the the production of spacecraft components, and uses open parameter sets for its direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) equipment to achieve superior surface finishes and create complex part geometries. The company already owns six other DMLS systems from EOS, including an EOSINT M 280 and five M 290s, and has brought that number up to seven, with its latest acquisition of the high-throughput EOS M 400-4.
“3D metal printing is no longer future technology, it is now and our customers are moving at a rapid pace to take advantage of what true AM brings. Just a few years ago, scalability was a question the AM industry needed to answer,” said i3D’s CEO Erin Stone. “With platforms as robust as the EOS M 400-4, we have a solid tool to address those concerns and we’re delivering both capacity and quality to industries that demand highly engineered parts, such as aerospace, energy and medical.”
With a large build volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm, the ultra-fast EOS M 400-4, which can work with a wide range of metal materials, uses its four lasers to offer four times the productivity. It has a smart process flow, with flexible software tools and an intuitive user interface, and offers easy handling through a high degree of operation and workflow automation.
i3D brings AM scalability to the market, connecting organizations of all sizes through cost-effective metal 3D printing, and is the first AM service provider in the western US to purchase the EOS M 400-4, which will allow the company to complement their current technology with large-frame metal 3D printing capabilities and meet the market demand.
“The EOS M 400-4 is for serious 3D printing at a serial production level. i3D now has a very impressive DMLS line-up that makes them a formidable player in the market. Their strengths go deeper than the technology and their talented team brings know-how to drive results for their customers,” said Andrew Snow, Senior Vice President of EOS North America. We couldn’t be happier for i3D – another great example of bringing AM to mainstream manufacturing.”
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