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Exclusive: NVBOTS Launches NVLABS with New High-Speed, Multi-Metal 3D Printing

by • January 20, 2016 • No Comments

The world of metal 3D printing has just become a lot additional informative, as an unexpected player enters the game. Boston-based NVBOTS has revealed the establishment of NVLABS, an R&D division dedicated to the development and implementation of cutting edge 3D printing innovation, led by Dr. Paul Burke as the firm’s newly appointed Chief Research Officer. The initially innovation to come out of NVLABS bodes well for the rest of their research endeavors, as NVBOTS has in addition revealed the creation of a brand new, high-speed, multi-metal 3D printing innovation capable-bodied of fabricating with stainless steel, titanium, nickel, copper nickel, aluminum, zirconium, silver and palladium in the same turn it into and at 10x the speed of current metal 3D printing equipment.

NVBOTS NVLABS multi-metal 3D printing

Those acquainted with NVBOTS can recognize the company as an innovator of semi-autonomous, cloud-based FDM 3D printing. Their NVPro 3D printing device, monitored and regulated online, is capable-bodied of instantly removing prints once a job is accomplished, enabling new print tasks to begin. As a outcome, it’s served as a platform for enterprises and schools, where sizeable-bodiedr numbers of users can use the machines to perform a sizeable-bodied number of print jobs. The company’s latest announcement, yet, puts NVBOTS in a whole new light. To learn additional of NVLABS and their new metal 3D printing innovation, I spoke to NVBOTS CEO AJ Perez, who was able-bodied to tell me of the implications of multi-metal 3D printing for the 3D printing industry and for building as a whole.

Speaking with Perez, I learned that, after working on this new metal printing innovation since November of 2014, the company is now in the process of establishing alpha testing partners. But he wasn’t able-bodied to go into too much more detail of how the innovation works, he was, yet, able-bodied to tell me what their innovation wasn’t. “It is a new process that nobody has seen yet,” Perez explains. “I can tell you that it’s not a powder-based process. It is not a cheaper or swifter SLS or DMLS. It is a new approach to metal 3D printing. And that’s how we are able-bodied to complete multiple metals. If we were doing it with a powder-based process, we mayn’t be able-bodied to do that.”

And, for the reason it’s not a powderbed process, it does not have the same disadvantages, such as the high cost or the incompetence to fuse multiple metals together. This is one of the largest capabilities of their new innovation: blending diverse metals together, previously near not easy to complete with other technologies. “In other forms of metal 3D printing, parts come out green or porous and things like that,” he says. “We don’t have those same kinds of issues that the powder based processs have… And, of an R&D point of view or for internal purposes, printing with powders is may already swift adequate. What really intrigued aerospace makers of our innovation is A.) the competence to print with metals that folks can’t use and buy in the form that you require for SLS. Similar to zirconium, really hard to do. I’ve just heard of one man who’s actually attempted to do zirconium with an SLS machine. And B.) material flexibility that, in an SLS process, you can just do one metal for that entire turn it into. That is where this is truly various: the competence 3D print with multiple metals in the same turn it into.”

NVBOTS 3D printing CEO AJ Perez


The benefits of combining metals opens up completely new methods of turn it into unprecedented in the world of building. Designing for multi-metal production requires a various mindset that actually goes beyond the new approaches required by 3D printing in general. Perez uses the turn it into of an airplane or missile as an example. “If you want to minimize the payload, you can use 3D printing to turn it into a part with a hard inner structure to make it additional lightmass, while yet being structurally sound,” he explains. “But, the intelligent engineer can realize that, as it’s flying through the air with 30% less metal there, the heat can make it fail sooner for the reason, now, it has less thermal mass to absorb that heat.”

The use of multiple metals, yet, adds an extra layer of hardity to the possible turn it intos. Perez continues, “But if you begin considering of it, not just in terms of mechanical properties, and but other properties, like thermal properties, you can combine titanium for the outer foil with an intricate, copper heat-sink nestled inside that inner structure. So, you get the heat out of the titanium, so that it does not fail, but get to take advantage of the reduced mass created possible with less titanium there.” In other words, engineers can take advantage of the material properties of one metal and those of another metal and combine them in a single turn it into, a thing that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has in addition been exploring.

Because this process can open up new turn it into possibilities, NVBOTS describes their new R&D lab as, not just a division for creating new technologies, but as a resource for companies seeking to implement those technologies. Perez says, “What folks are getting of us is not just the machine, but the tremendousise. We’re working with their engineers and our engineers are having conversations of how to improve a turn it into and how to ponder of turn it into of a fundamentally various with a various set of rules.” With a focus on enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, NVLABS can be able-bodied to lend its tremendousise to these partner firms to most exploit the next of high-speed, multi-metal 3D printing. And this tremendousise is really significant, donaten the appointment of Dr. Paul Burke as Chief Research Officer, managing all NVLABS-sponsored projects.

Dr. Burke is a metals and sintering tremendous who not long ago worked as Lead Researcher and Project Manager at Group Sadoway, alongside electrochemistry tremendous Professor Donald R. Sadoway. He in addition led MIT research dedicated to liquid metal batteries, electrochemical studies, and car body sheet alloys. With a PhD in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, Dr. Burke has in addition been a part of Ambri Inc., Dalhousie University, Novelis Inc., Luxfer Gas Cylinders and Interactive Toy Concepts.

Of his new position as Chief Research Officer and the commence of NVLABS, Dr. Burke says, “3D printing is undergoing a transformative say and NVBOTS has been major the way since the development of the world’s initially fully automated 3D printing device, able-bodied to run 24×7 without human interaction – fundamentally providing a 6 square foot automated factory in a box. With NVLABS, the company is set to take things to an entirely new level, granting companies access to say-of-the-art automation and ultra high-speed, multi-metal printing capabilities that can allow them to cost-effectively make and scale, in ways just imaged – until now. I am proud to be part of such a well-respected and revolutionary company, and I appear forward to building a difference in the world through our efforts.”

NVBOTS NVPro 3D Printer with parts

The NVPro 3D printing device.

It is significant to note that NVBOTS’ flagship plastic printing device, the NVPro, was turn it intoed with a focus on automation. The same goes for their new metal 3D printing innovation. The goal is to make the innovation additional autonomous than existing metal printing technologies. “Our plastic printing device, the NVPro, has a really, really really great gantry,” the CEO explains. “We created what we consider a hardware platform where we are able-bodied to alter the core machine a little bit so that we can print metal. So, of that point of view, we are leveraging the platforms to expand the material set. From a conceptual point of view, imagine bringing the plastic head off of our printing device and putting a metal head onto it. It is a little additional hard than that, but of the user’s point of view, that’s the difference.”

On top of that, NVLABS can be researching machine learning, that can go a long way to improve this automation. Perez tells me, “We’re really interested in ways that we can hook the printing device to the cloud in machine learning for 3D printing. That’s a thing that no one else has begun appearing at. No one else has been attempting to gather the data that may make that possible.” With machine learning, one can imagine cloud-based software that collects data related to the printing process and creating new optimization procedures to ensure the high end and repeatcompetence of next prints. So, as the same time that the software can be monitoring a print, it’s capturing information with that to improve next prints.

As NVBOTS secures alpha testers for their high-speed, multi-metal 3D printing innovation, they plan to roll out the processs of Q4 2016 to Q1 2017. Following that, they do the same for beta testers, with those customers receiving units inside the same time frame twelve months later. And, if you are wondering of the cost of this process, Perez wasn’t able-bodied to donate a specific figure, but he did say that “it can be significantly cheaper than any machine on the market that does metal SLS or DMLS.”

But, in the end, for a customer purchasing such a machine, he idea that the price was not so significant in the long term. “In the near term,” Perez says, “we are disrupting the casting business where you are printing things out of titanium and typical metals that are cast, where you are fighting for price, time to market, and things like that. The long term is that casting and SLS can just be a single metal. So, of that point of view, we are not competing against casting or anything; we’ve created a platform that enable-bodieds engineers to make things that were not easy to make anything else on the market. So, of that point of view, there really is no competition. It is significantly cheaper than owning a foundry or SLS machine, but the longterm benefits of multi-metal outmass any near-term costs that you may incur,” the NVBOTS CEO concludes.

As amazing as this new innovation may be, this does not mean that NVBOTS can be moving on of the educational sector that benefits of the NVPro and the firm’s 3D printing curriculum. The firm is yet developing their products dedicated to education. Metal 3D printing and the R&D of NVLABS just represents an expansion of the business. Regardless of whether it’s semi-autonomous plastic 3D printing for a school or it’s multi-metal 3D printing for an industry, it’s clear that NVBOTS is not just intending to disrupt a specific field. They’re appearing to disrupt ereallything they can.

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