June 29, 2022

Qualified Sterling Silver on Desktop Metal Production System

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Desktop Metal has qualified 925 sterling silver for 3D printing on its production system platform, including the P-1 and P-50 – providing jewelry and luxury goods manufacturers with one of the fastest ways to directly 3D print high-quality jewelry and accessories such as watches, belt buckles, decorative hardware for handbags, and more.

Desktop Metal is also accelerating the development of other precious metal alloys this year, including 18k yellow gold, with active rose gold research and development underway. Desktop Metal and its polymer brand ETEC have a long history of partnering with leading jewelry manufacturers around the world such as Cartier, Stuller, Shinola and Swarovski.

P-1 production system

“Qualifying precious metals for direct 3D printing on high-speed binder jetting systems is a major milestone for the jewelry and luxury goods industry,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “All the design freedom and customization of 3D printing can now be delivered directly at high volumes without all the labor associated with traditional manufacturing processes. Additionally, this new direct 3D printing innovation builds on the established heritage of our ETEC brand, a leader in 3D printers for investment casting models for over a decade, making us the unrivaled leader in complete additive manufacturing solutions for the jewelry and luxury market.

To advance the technology and materials needed to bring world-class 3D print quality, productivity and cost-effectiveness to the demanding luxury goods and jewelry market, Desktop Metal is partnering with two leaders in the production of precious metal powders and parts: Formula 3D Corporation, founded by Christian Tse of Christian Tse Designs & Manufacturing Inc. for the American market and Neoshapes for the international market. These two collaborations aim to enable the luxury goods and jewelry markets to adopt metal binder jetting processes to produce end-use parts in precious metals, steels, etc.

Formula 3D Corporation offers designers and manufacturers an end-to-end solution for 3D printing precious metals (now including sterling silver) – from design to finished parts, using the Metal Production System desk P-1.

“Desktop Metal’s production system adds tremendous value to our existing jewelry manufacturing processes, increasing production efficiency, bringing new designs to market faster and providing our customers with greater versatility. and multiple styling options. We can actually print in precious metals in two hours what we do in two days with casting,” said Christian Tse. consider new options to circumvent some of the supply chain challenges faced by the fine jewelry industry.We can circumvent shipping delays and assembly costs, as well as customs duties, by direct printing precious silver, instead of shipping the physical metal.

Neoshapes, a Swiss company based in Geneva, founded by experienced luxury industry executives, offers everything from the production and supply of powder, to the printing and post-processing of precious metal components, as well as consulting services to enable industry players to easily transition their production processes to binder jetting technology.

“Binder jetting opens new perspectives for the luxury industry, even more now with the qualification of precious metal alloys, giving additional leverage to develop and produce creative products from a single file, taking a leap forward in the digital supply chain. The time to market for new creative products is also significantly reduced, allowing brands to better meet demand while maintaining minimal inventory,” said Stéphane Vigié, co- founder of Neoshapes.

The production system’s Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology enables jewelers to adopt a fully digital and agile manufacturing workflow with its high-speed metal 3D printing. Jewelers have greater flexibility and design control, allowing designers and manufacturers to scale new designs, which were previously impossible or difficult to produce, without significant manual labor, for example – bracelets or chain link necklaces, where the links can be 3D printed in place as a single piece instead of being manually assembled one link at a time. Jewelers can also leverage AM for localized production of gold, copper, sterling silver and other precious metal jewelry, reducing reliance on long-lead global supply chains .

Benefits of additive manufacturing for luxury goods and jewelry applications include: customization and design freedom at high volumes (up to tens of thousands of pieces of jewelry can be 3D printed on the production system per up-to-date, and manufacturers can produce the same parts or custom, one-off parts – in one build), digital inventory providing greater production flexibility (by eliminating time-consuming techniques like molding, manufacturers can easily iterate and update scale new designs – once a design is finalized, printing and production can begin immediately Manufacturers can also establish digital inventories, digital storage of design files to be made on demand, reduced requirements in working capital), and significant waste reduction through recycling and reuse. lization (the loose powder recovered during the printing and depowdering process can be recycled and reused for subsequent prints, resulting in cost efficiency and reduced material waste).