When a company with more than 40 years of experience in metal manufacturing selects a 3D metal printing solution, it better live up to the standards of excellence set by existing production methods.
For Metal Technology Inc. (MTI), 3D Systems printers and 3DXpert™ software have lived up to expectations and more. The 3D printing implementation has gone so well that Oregon-based MTI won the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition's 2016 Innovation Award for additive manufacturing techniques used to produce metal parts for U.S. Navy missile propulsion systems.
The two printers -- a 3D Systems ProX® DMP 320 and ProX DMP 200 -- give MTI the ability to use materials such as nickel superalloys and tantalum. They've enabled MTI to create lighter-weight designs and consolidate multiple parts into a single, integrated build that delivers better quality, requires less maintenance, and has a longer life span.
"The ProX DMP Series allows us to produce end-use parts faster and more economically than ever before -- in some cases as much as 10 times faster -- and these parts are being used in some of the most demanding environments you can imagine," says Gary Cosmer, CEO of Metal Technology. "3D printing the part enables us to include features and design parameters that could not be done with traditional methods."
Adding 3DXpert software to its workflow has further increased productivity for MTI. The software's patented 3D Zoning capability has increased productivity by 40 percent by allowing MTI to easily define different printing strategies for different areas of a part.
3DXpert has also dramatically reduced file processing time, according to Jason Stitzel, MTI's Director of Engineering.
"Before using 3DXpert, running a complicated part through a slicing engine took close to 20 hours to process, slice, run the parameters and create a build file," says Stitzel. "With 3DXpert, we can do the same build in just four hours.
"3D Systems’ printers and 3DXpert software are a big part of our success, as they allow us to produce better parts faster, and make a part work on the first try. As we look forward, we know we can turn to 3D Systems for additional solutions such as inspection and post-printing operations that will make for a complete one-stop production solution."