Fast metal parts printing is UK first

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:

Wall Colmonoy has fully installed the first Desktop Metal Shop System in the UK.

Using Desktop Metal’s innovative binder-jet technology and generations of its materials expertise, Wall Colmonoy can now offer affordable and fast metal 3D printing of small to medium parts.

The Desktop Metal Shop System complements the offerings of Wall Colmonoy’s Precision Components business. This division, based in Wales, encompasses a 23,500ft2 modern machining facility and 19,000ft2 casting foundry, with 50 years of casting experience in wear-resistant alloys.

With this new binder-jet printer, Wall Colmonoy will be able to collaborate with customers by developing Additive Manufacturing prototype or parts components, moving theoretical designs into proven applications without the restrictions of conventional subtractive manufacturing techniques. Components can be developed and manufactured for fit and function trials utilising Wall Colmonoy’s reputation for highly effective wear and corrosion resistant solutions for the most demanding applications or simply for end use in a desired application.

With turnaround time up to 10 times faster than typical powder-bed fusion alternatives, the Desktop Metal Shop System is optimised for low to medium sized production runs and is suitable for many applications within automotive, food processing, manufacturing, and marine industries.

Technical Director, Chris Weirman, states “This latest purchase marks a new chapter for Wall Colmonoy and we are inspired by the possibilities of metal 3D printing to really expand what we can make. It’s exciting to be able to offer this route for customers who have smaller volumes or have parts that are difficult to cast.”

Wall Colmonoy also intends to use the printer to produce innovative new parts for its atomisation plant in Pontardawe, Wales.The possibilities of design freedom, unique to 3D printing, are of great interest to the engineering team who have earmarked several parts for development. 3D printing parts will allow Wall Colmonoy to quickly implement tooling improvements and reduce the downtime associated with waiting for replacement parts.

The Shop System has a build envelope of 8L, with a maximum individual part size of 350 x 220 x 100 mm. The printer can print hundreds of parts per day, depending on the size of the part.Initial production runs will use 17-4PH Stainless Steel, with Colmonoy nickel and Wallex cobalt alloys expected to follow.


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