Aberdeenshire OEM Defiant3D Has announced the launch its Defiant200 Metal Additive Manufacturing System at TCT 3Sixty Birmingham will be hosting the Birmingham International Festival this week.
The company has developed its patent-pending Cold Deposit and Sinter technology after encountering hurdles around affordability for existing metal 3D printing technology. Director Gary Cairns is also the head of polymer 3D Printing Service Bureau PlastiPrint 3D, had been interested in expanding the company’s 3D printing capabilities to include metal, but could not justify the cost of other technologies on the market.
After a five-year R&D journey, Defiant3D is now readying to commence shipments of the Defiant200 system in Q1 of 2024, with units available to pre-order for 40,000 GBP.
Cairns stated that they are working to lower the price of metal 3D printers. TCT. “Realistically, if I went out to the marketplace today, looking for a metal 3D printer, it’s a 100,000 pounds starting point, along with all the ancillary equipment that goes along with it. This machine is 40,000 pounds and that comes with the printer and the slicing software, that’s a full package developed for this machine.”
The capability to do so is a key feature.
The Defiant200 has a 200 x 202 x 202 mm oven, and the printhead technology deposits 2 powders into its build volume. Currently, only 316L stainless is used for the build material. The second powder has a higher melting temperature and is used to support the first powder. As the tool head moves along XY axis it deposits both powders.
Once the volume of the furnace is filled with powder, the lid comes down, seals the furnace, and thermal elements inside the lid heat the furnace up to the sintering temperature of the metal. The support material is a powder throughout the process while the build material becomes a solid. The support material may be removed easily, and parts can then move on to the next post-processing step, such as sandblasting.
Defiant3D was born out of PlastiPrint 3D’s frustration with the possibility of expanding to metal 3D printing.
Cairns was unable to justify the costs of existing technologies. A shower thought five year ago led Cairns into developing Cold Deposit Sinter. A prototype machine was designed and developed three years ago, with the latest iteration – the one showcased on the TCT 3Sixty show floor – assembled in the last six months. Much of the machines components, such as the machined aluminium components, and the welding is done in-house, while the machine’s panels are produced by a local company.
Defiant3D, which plans to deliver its first machine in the Q1 of 2024 is now allowing clients to reserve printers.
The company also told TCT it intends to explore tool steels, Inconel and titanium materials, in addition to 316L stainless steel, while there is also scope to process copper, brass, aluminium and precious metals in the future. Defiant3D is also aware of the possibility to scale up or down its machine. A smaller system, which runs at a low temperature and costs less, was mentioned.
Cairns stated that, “This is our first release but we have a lot of room to grow the technology.” We will be able to create these variations because we have the patent.