RYUJINLAB, INC Launches Low-cost Metal 3D Printing Service for General Public

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3D printing technology company RYUJINLAB, INC is launching a metal 3D printing service for the general public to access, the first ever in Korea.

3D printing using plastic infused FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) technology started to be distributed to the general public in 2012. Since then, the global 3D printing industry has grown rapidly and increased by approximately 30% every year. This has led to fierce competition in technology and product development across the 3D printing industry, allowing people to use more diverse materials at lower costs. FFF 3D printing can now use dozens of color materials, such as PLA (an eco-friendly material), more commonly used ABS and PETG, as well as elastic and ductile materials. Furthermore, the texture of sculptures can be expressed more diversely using wood, bronze, and brass-like materials. Where more detail is required, liquid resin can be used to make a more precise object for 3D printing (a.k.a. resin 3D printing). Costly technology and material that were reserved only for industrial 3D printing has been made increasingly more accessible to the general public. However, general users are still limited in terms of their creativity production activities. The threshold for some industrial materials and technologies is still high.

It’s a similar story in the metal 3D printing industry. High-powered energy is required to 3D print metallic materials. Because of this, metal 3D printers use high-power lasers or high-energy ion beams as energy sources, and the cost of equipment installation and operation is very high. In general, users have to pay 10 to 100 times the cost of FFF 3D printing to print a small metal sculpture using the conventional metal 3D printing methods.

Such high costs diminish the advantages of 3D printing and thus don’t allow for ‘design without limitations’ or ‘low quantity customization’ and have also become an obstacle in supply of 3D printing. To eliminate this “high-cost” obstacle, RYUJINLAB, INC has been conducting research on low-cost metal 3D printing for several years and presented its achievements at the ‘Inside 3D Printing Conferences & Expo, Seoul’, which was held from November 18. The end user sends a STL or OBJ extension file to RYUJINLAB, INC, they will then create a green part made of Metal Filament: Ultrafuse® 316L (made by BASF Germany) using a RYUJINLAB, INC developed FFF 3D metal printer. After that it goes through a de-binding heat treatment and sintering process. The final metal part that consists only of Ultrafuse® 316L material is then sent to the end user.

A Ultrafuse® 316L metal sculpture measuring approximately 13mm in width, length and height (refer to figure below) would tentatively cost 70,000won for the end user.

Figure 1. Marvin. Thing #215703 / 3D Model by 3DHubs @Thingiverse.com. (Courtesy of RYUJINLAB)


Figure 2. 3D Printed Metal Marvin (Material: SUS316XL from BASF). (Courtesy of RYUJINLAB)

“In recent years, Desktop Metal and Markforged have worked hard to create products that allow access to metal 3D printing at a lower cost. However, it’s still quite a high cost for Korean users who usually use low-end FFF 3D printers,” Tony Park, Vice President of Business Development Division of RYUJINLAB, INC said. “We want more people to actively use 3D printing. 3D printing is an excellent manufacturing method that reduces overproduction and thereby makes the global environment a little better because it efficiently utilizes and distributes resources throughout the whole process of development and production. RYUJINLAB, INC. has continued research and development on 3D printing technology to bring its vision of ‘Flexible & Affordable Manufacturing for All’ to life and are putting in effort to make it easier for the general public to use a variety of materials at lower costs. The ‘low-cost metal 3D printing service’ (beta) is part of this effort. We are pleased to be able to provide an improved 3D printing experience for Korean users. We will carefully monitor the service during the beta service period and improve on any inconveniences experienced by the end users to ensure we can provide full service as soon as possible.”

As of 2019, Korea’s 3D printing industry is a USD 377 million market, of which the market for 3D printing services is worth USD 88 million, a 23% growth compared to 2018 which is the highest growth among sub-segment markets such as equipment, materials and software. There is focused attention on how RYUJINLAB, INC’s new metal 3D printing service will resonate with the general public as they are well renowned for being market leaders in low-cost, high-performance resin 3D printers in the past 5 years.

Courtesy of RYUJINLAB

*RYUJINLAB, INC: Participated in the market for 3D printing service and education since 2014. With the introduction of their very own LIPS (Light Induced Planar Solidification) technology in 2016, RYUJINLAB, INC successfully pioneered the market by applying LIPS to MORPHEUS, the largest 3D printer in its category under USD 5,000 in the world at the time. Since then, the resin 3D printer sector, which had been with the only technology of DLP/SLA, has led the development boom of LCD-applied low-cost resin 3D printers, allowing more users to use high-end resin 3D printing at lower costs.

BASF: The world’s largest chemical company headquartered in Germany. In 2018, they released a metal filament compatible with FFF 3D printers and are innovators in the 3D printing service market.


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