Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Zecotek Announces Advance in High-Performance Metal Alloy 3D Printing

ST Medical Devices

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Zecotek is in the news again, and it’s no surprise given the news they have recently released. Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, President, Chairman, and CEO of the Canadian company Zecotek Photonics, announced the beginning of testing and refinement of a 3D printer design that will allow for the use of a variety of alloys in printing. This 3D printer promises to have a more compact design than others of its kind and to print at higher speeds.

zeco-1The ability to print quickly with high-performance metals will be of great benefit to companies that need to decrease the time between when they complete the initial phases of product design to the prototyping and refinement phases. A greater range of designs and products can be evaluated in less time if they can be produced more quickly and will truly take advantage of the promise of rapid prototyping possibilities. Zerrouk explained the excitement generated by the project:

“Our technical team of scientists has identified a unique approach to handle high-performance metal alloys with our compact high-speed 3D print technologies. The advantage of our design is the compactness, speed, and quick transition from prototyping to 3D manufacturing at all levels of production. Add the ability to handle high-performance metal alloys and the size of the market grows considerably. We are excited about the prospect of being a key leader in an industry that will revolutionize manufacturing.”

A Typical Metal Alloy Powder

A Typical Metal Alloy Powder

Partnering with Zecotek in this initiative is the Greek-Armenian company LT-PYRKAL, a research, development, and production company that counts crystal growth and laser accessories and systems among its Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 3.51.54 PMspecialties. This is not the first time the two companies have worked together. LT-PYRKAL’s partnership was essential in the development of several vital electro-mechanical components used in Zecotek’s patented 3D display technology. This particular joint project was announced in February of 2014 and in the intervening time researchers have worked to overcome a number of key technical challenges.

The company’s General Director, Mr. Gagik Buniatyan expressed his company’s investment in this continuing partnership:

“We look forward to continuing to build on our growing relationship with Zecotek by completing the assembly and testing of their first compact high-speed 3D printer and assist them to move to full production and sales.”

This will not be the first printer that works with metal alloys, but it will be differentiated from other models on the market by its size and the speed with which it can produce. As the technology being developed is proprietary, there are currently no images of the printer available and we will have to wait until all pending patent applications have been resolved before getting a peak at what could be a considerable advance in rapid prototyping.

It is interesting to note that this news is coming on the heels of an announcement made last week about Matterfab’s new affordable metal 3D printer.  It certainly seems like a lot of innovation is suddenly taking place among the 3D metal printing space.  What impact will this all have on the manufacturing industry?  Let’s hear your opinion within the Zecotek metal printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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