The Shop System: Breakthrough Performance

The second of a three-part series examining the benefits, performance and cost savings that come with the Shop System.

shop system

The world’s first metal binder jetting system designed for machine shops, the Shop System is capable of printing complex metal parts with the benefits that standards machine shops expect: unparalleled productivity with superior print quality while maintaining high levels of accessibility throughout the entire process.

In addition to unlocking process and product innovations, the binder jetting technology at the heart of the Shop System is capable of delivering reliable high performance that meets the demands of a modern machine shop.

With the ability to produce high-quality, fully-dense, near-net shape parts right out of the furnace, the Shop System’s high-throughput and flexibility make it an excellent manufacturing choice for low-, medium-, and high-volume end-use applications.

Unparalleled productivity

The Shop System’s innovative single-pass print engine allows for rapid production of metal parts. Because the print bar spans the entire width of the print bed, entire layers of multiple parts can be printed in just a few seconds.

shop system printing timelapse

That printing speed - up to 10x faster than laser powder bed fusion systems - allows the Shop System to print an entire build volume in a single 6 to 12 hour shift, depending on the height of the build.

Shop System print process diagram

Shop System binder jetting technology

Build times are flexible and determined by factors like build depth and layer height. This means users can easily adjust build time to fit their shop schedule—running a six-hour build during the day, then turning the printer over to a longer build overnight with minimal operator burden, enabling effortless productivity with very high utilization.

Mixed build volume
[Configurable build volume]

The Shop System can print variety of different geometries within a single build without requiring custom tooling and setup per part.

Superior Print Quality

The Shop System prints customer-ready, high-resolution parts with incredibly fine detail. With a native resolution of 1600 x 1600 dpi (dots per inch) - 33% higher than competitive systems - the ability to produce more than 670 million drops per second and layer heights between 40um and 100um, the system is the highest-resolution single pass binder jetting system on the market.

To deliver both fine details and fast print speeds, the Shop System uses an adaptive print engine that produces 1.2 pL droplets and automated drop multiplexing up to 6pL, resulting in surface finishes as low as 4µm Ra, superior bleed control and fine feature detail, all while maintaining high print speeds.

Common mass finishing options can improve surface finish even further, to less than 0.1µm Ra. In addition, Shop System parts emerge from the furnace fully-dense, isotropic and ready for end-use applications.

adaptive print engine diagram
[Adaptive print engine]

Traditional Binder Jetting Print Resolution vs. Desktop Metal Shop System Print Resolution

Common mass finishing options can improve surface finish even further, to less than 0.1µm Ra. In addition, Shop System parts emerge from the furnace fully-dense, isotropic and ready for end-use applications.

printed VVT sprocket close up
[Power steering joint]

Internal spline is printed directly into the part, avoiding additional post processing.

Excellent Reliability

With over 70,000 jets spread across five rows, the Shop System print bar provides enough redundancy to ensure that any jet outs (caused by clogged nozzles) do not result in print defects. Built-in, automatically-programmed cleaning cycles ensure print head performance is always optimized for its full, extended lifetime, resulting in enhanced print quality and reliability.

Shop System jetting
[Shop System Printhead]

70,000 jets spread across five rows

Taken together, the Shop System’s productivity, print quality and reliability add up an ideal solution for machine shops and metal job shops hoping to amplify their productivity with metal 3D printing.

With the ability to print tens to hundreds of parts with the tolerances that are compatible with machining, the Shop System allows shops to take on new and larger customer jobs, while reserving machinist hours for refining critical features.

Part Examples

Part Example:
Clipper Blade

This part is a clipper blade used with an electric hair trimmer. As shown, the Shop System is capable of printing the thin geometry needed to guide hair into the trimmers.

Manufacturing this clipper blade would traditionally require expensive tooling for production via stamping or metal injection molding. Mass producing on the Shop System eliminates tooling costs and drastically reduces manufacturing lead time.

Furthermore, additive manufacturing enables mass customization - allowing real-time adjustments to the part. The Shop System was more than able to print the incredibly fine, thin details of the blade.

*Costing and Throughput for 16L Shop System without Setters

Printed clipper blade
[Clipper blade]

Size (mm): 36 x 35 x 3.5 mm
Cost/part*: $4.17
Parts/build*: 684
Parts/week:* 5,376

Part example:
Medical Device Closure/Latch

This assembly is used to latch and hold other components in place in a medical device assembly. The parts require geometry that is very small and precise that would require extensive machining, which would be challenging on these fine, thin features. To produce these parts via metal injection molding would require an extremely large investment in hard tooling, but since the parts do not need to be produced in very large volume - only about 10,000 were needed - the tooling couldn’t be justified.

The Shop System allowed the parts to be produced in high volume quickly and affordably, without any tooling costs. The high performance of the Shop System allowed for excellent printing of the fine features while maintaining high resolution and quality required for the application.

*Costing and Throughput for 16L Shop System without Setters

  • Printed medical latch
  • medlatch
  • [Latch A]

    Size: 59 x 26 x 10 mm
    Cost/part*: $6.33
    Parts/build*: 160
    Parts/week:* 1,287

  • [Latch B]

    Size: 37 x 12 x 9 mm
    Cost/part*: $1.99
    Parts/build*: 745
    Parts/week:* 5,809

Part example:
Custom bolt

This custom-designed bolt is used in specific applications where footprint and weight needed to be limited.

Due to the high cost of hard tooling, most bolts are manufactured in quantities of millions. For this bolt, however, only a few thousand were needed. By printing on the Shop System this bolt can be produced with no tooling at a dramatically reduced cost per part. The fine feature resolution of the Shop System allowed for easy printing of the male thread, just requiring a quick chase to clean up the profile after sintering.

*Costing and Throughput for 16L Shop System without Setters

Custom printed bolt
[[Latch A]]

Size: 60 x 14 x 10 mm
Cost/part*: $5.76
Parts/build*: 319
Parts/week:* 2,499

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