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Frequently Asked Questions

FATHOM recently announced it is a go-to-market partner with Desktop Metal. The FATHOM team will also adopt the innovative metal 3D printing technologies as part of its in-house advanced manufacturing solutions and managed services to further develop a focus on changing the way products are designed and manufactured. Desktop Metal has introduced two 3D printing systems this year with a transformative approach to fabricating metal parts faster, safer, and more cost-effectively.

In this featured blog post, the FATHOM team has answered your most frequently asked questions. Watch the video then check out more in-depth information below in the Q&A section.

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT DESKTOP METAL

Learn more about the Studio System, material options, system specifications, and how to order from the FATHOM team. Can’t find the information you are looking for? Send us a direct message!

I want to reserve a Studio System—how do I place a reservation with FATHOM?

We’ve created easy-to-follow instructions so it’s a quick and simple process to place a reservation.

  1. Visit desktopmetal.com and click the red “Reserve a System” button in the top right corner then select the Studio System
  2. Choose system quantity and choose purchase or subscription option
  3. Enter “FATHOM” as the DM Partner Code in the blank text box
  4. Scroll down and click the red “Continue” button
  5. Fill out contact form—name, email, phone number, job title, and company information
  6. Answer questions about application use and materials then click the red “Continue” button
  7. Enter credit card and billing information, as well as the amount owed for reservation (e.g. $1,000 per Studio System)
  8. Click the red “Place My Reservation” button

What aspects of the Studio System by Desktop Metal make it so office-friendly compared to existing technologies, like laser beam-based equipment?

Desktop Metal set out to make the Studio System safe for any facility by eliminating the use of loose powder, lasers, respirators, welded supports, external ventilation, third party equipment, dedicated operators, etc. Current technologies are cumbersome to implement and extremely costly, so professional metal 3D printing isn’t as accessible as it should be. This has resulted in a slower adoption versus the ever-increasing use of plastic-based equipment like fused deposition modeling (FDM) that’s more plug-and-play. Integrating a Studio System into a company’s product development process is an entirely different experience than laser beam-based equipment. Users can produce metal 3D printed parts in just four steps.

  • Prep // Digital Model—The software accepts native 3D CAD file formats (not just STL) and has the ability to run remotely so jobs can be managed from any secure device.
  • 3D Printer // Layer-By-Layer—Similar to FDM, a part is built by heating and extruding specially formulated bound metal rods.
  • Furnace // Debind + Sinter—A portion of the plastic binder is first removed with the included debinder, and the furnace then heats the part to temperatures near melting (causing the metal to densify to 96-99.8%).
  • Optional // Post-Processing—Supports are easily removed by hand and users can opt to further post-process parts like CNC machining or bead blasting to meet critical tolerances and finishes.

If the Studio System by Desktop Metal doesn’t use loose metal powder, what should I expect when ordering raw materials for the 3D printer?

Unlike laser-based systems that selectively melt loose metal powder in a build tray, the 3D print head extrudes bound metal rods similar to how FDM-based equipment extrudes plastic filament. Changing materials is just as easy because users only handle material cartridges. This approach to consumables eliminates the safety requirements associated with managing loose metal powders for metal 3D printing.

What material options will be available when I get my Desktop Metal 3D printer?

The Desktop Metal team wants its users to have access to materials with superior mechanical properties. Similar to metal injection molding (MIM), the Studio System leverages bulk sintering to achieve high densities, with parts performing similar to wrought alloys.

  • Initial Material Availability Includes—Alloy Steel 4140 (Chrome Moly), Copper C11000, Low Expansion Kovar F-15, Super Alloy Inconel 625, Stainless Steel 316L (Austenitic) & 17-4 PH, and Tool Steel H13

Desktop Metal has partnered with industry-leading manufacturers of metal powders and has plans to increase the material offering significantly following the launch. Read more about what’s in development such as types of aluminum, carbide, heavy alloy, magnetic, etc.

Is the Studio System meant for metal prototyping only?

Yes and no—users can leverage their Studio System for both prototypes and end-use parts. While there is a huge need in the marketplace for faster and more cost-effective prototyping of metal parts, the Studio System can also be used to build tools like jigs and fixtures, as well as final parts—all that fits within the 12x8x8 inch build volume. To meet the demand for higher volumes of 3D printed metal parts, Desktop Metal will release a Production System in 2018. Start a conversation with a FATHOM account manager to learn more.

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Where can I get more information about the Studio System such as technical specifications and pricing options?

To get more information, visit the FATHOM product page (view). You will find multiple PDF downloads for review including system overview, brochure, 3D printer technical specs, and furnace technical specs.

3D PRINTER OVERVIEW MICROWAVE-ENHANCED FURNACE OVERVIEW
Print Technology—Bound Metal Deposition (BMD)
Build Volume—2,585 cm3 (30.5×20.5×20.5) / 768 in3 (12x8x8)
Print Heads—Dual, Quick-Release Print Heads
Minimum Layer Height—50 μm
Build Rate—16 cm3/hr (1 in3/hr)
Support Structures—Separable Supports
Build Chamber—Heated, up to 45 °C (113 °F )
Additional Details—View Data Sheet
Heating—Hybrid; Microwave + Conventional Five Sides
Peak Temperature—1400 °C (2552 °F)
Furnace Volume—12,585 cm3 (30.5×20.5×20.5) / 768 in3 (12x8x8)
Footprint—H 1500 x W 1220 x D 755mm (60x48x30 in)
Gas Connection—2x 650L Onboard Gas Canisters
Gas Connection—Optional House Gas Connections
Gas Types—Forming Gas, Nitrogen, Argon
Additional Details—View Data Sheet

What are the pricing options for the Studio System?

The Studio System is one-tenth the cost of comparable laser-based systems, and with multiple purchase options available, it’s even easier for companies to bring professional metal 3D printing in-house. You can also download a PDF copy of the price list (view). Please note, both purchase options include installation, training, maintenance, and starter kit.

  1. Purchase Studio 3D Printer, Debinder, and Furnace for $120,000, or
  2. Sign-up for Hardware as a Service (HaaS) starting at $3,250/month
    (choose from 36 or 48 months—includes option to buy at the end of subscription)

Can I submit a 3D CAD file to receive a benchmark?

Yes—you can submit a file and will need to do so with a FATHOM account manager. Please upload your file and specify in the notes that you’d like to get a benchmark for the Studio System.

In addition to signing a partner agreement with Desktop Metal, FATHOM will adopt the technologies as part of its in-house advanced manufacturing solutions—can I submit a 3D CAD file today for a service quote?

The FATHOM team is really excited to offer services once we receive the Desktop Metal 3D Printer—we are scheduled to install a Studio System this August and will notify you immediately. Please sign up to receive those updates (register). In the meantime, you can submit a file for quote to get the conversation started with FATHOM and Desktop Metal experts. Many people are requesting parts to be 3D printed and you will want to get your request submitted as soon as possible.

Sign-up for the latest Desktop Metal updates from FATHOM

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