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Introduction to the Studio System process

The Studio System is the only office-friendly metal 3D printing solution in the world. The three-step process — print, debind, sinter — is entirely managed by our Fabricate software, making it easy to print complex metal parts in-house.

KEY APPLICATIONS FOR BMD TECHNOLOGY

An overview of the BMD Technology for functional prototyping,
jigs and fixtures, tooling, and low volume production.

Application #1: Functional prototyping

Whereas plastic 3D printed parts often allow us to test form and fit, metal 3D printing allows you to produce functional prototypes quickly and iterate quickly on the part design. Functional prototyping applications call for parts that adhere to specific thermal and chemical requirements. Some examples of these applications are worm gears, connecting rods, brake calipers and manifolds. And by eliminating lead times, costly complex machining operations, and the need for tooling, product development and time-to-market is accelerated significantly. Expedited fabrication with in-house metal 3D printing allows engineers to explore an iterative design process that includes functional testing—something that is not possible with plastic prototypes.

Application #2: Jigs & fixtures

On a production line, jigs and fixtures have complex geometries and are produced in low volume. Typically, these parts must be made in metal to meet stiffness and strength requirements. Frequent use results in wear, so the ability to produce replacement parts quickly is critical to operational efficiency. These parts must allow for repeatability and meet high tolerances. Metal parts printed with the Studio System meet strength and durability requirements and can be post-processed after sintering to achieve critical dimensions And the nature of the layered BMD printing process is the ability to print assemblies together which is not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.

Application #3: Tooling

Typically, custom tooling applications have parts with complex geometries that are difficult—if not impossible—to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. An example of this is mold cavity inserts with conformal cooling channels that are designed to improve injection mold cycle times and quality of the molded part. In these applications, initial tooling expenses represent a major factor of overall part cost. Often, these high costs make it impossible to use processes such as casting, injection molding, and extrusion for smaller, customized parts. The Studio System builds reliable, highly accurate, durable tools that outperform a plastic equivalent.

Application #4: Low volume production

The Studio System brings the benefits of additive manufacturing into the office, enabling quick, customized parts for low volume production. Traditionally, the cost for producing metal parts in low volume is high—particularly if its geometry requires manufacturing by casting or injection molding. The Studio System results in reduced lead time, and the part costs do not increase based on part complexity, allowing designers to focus on the function of the part rather than limitations of traditional manufacturability.