The new InnoventPro™ Binder Jetting AM machine and X1 Powder Grip container will be debuted at Formnext 2021 (Courtesy ExOne)
The ExOne Company, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA, has announced multiple sales of its new InnoventPro™ 3L Binder Jetting (BJT) Additive Manufacturing machine. Siemens was reported to be the first to place an advance purchase order for the new machine, followed by Swiss startup Neoshapes SA.
The InnoventPro 3L is an advanced entry-level model, designed to take the ease-of-use features of the Innovent+ and align these with a bigger build area and the speed and technology features of the company’s production-ready AM machines, such as the X1 25Pro® and X1 160Pro™.
The InnoventPro features Siemens controls, which integrate with the printer drives, motors, sensors, as well as Siemens MindSphere IoT operating system, which powers ExOne’s Scout machine monitoring and analysis app. Scout is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for use with ExOne production sand and metal AM machines.
Siemens intends to use the InnoventPro at its Charlotte Advanced Technology Collaboration Hub (CATCH), Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, to develop materials and processes before taking scaling them on the X1 160Pro. The CATCH facility will leverage Siemens advanced hardware automation and software tools to continue the industrialisation of AM.
“We’re very excited to feature the InnoventPro in our Technology Collaboration Hub, and we look forward to demonstrating how to integrate advanced additive manufacturing systems such as the InnoventPro into our end-to-end Digital Thread,” stated Tim Bell, Head of AM, Siemens Industry, Inc.
John Hartner, CEO, ExOne, added, “ExOne is proud to continue offering Siemens technologies in our production-ready metal binder jetting systems, and we’re delighted that Siemens has purchased our new InnoventPro for its own manufacturing use. Siemens technology continues to deliver important integration value to our production customers, and we’re confident our printer will deliver important manufacturing value to their operations as well.”
Neoshapes, which was founded by executives in the luxury goods industry, and ExOne have now successfully passed a proof-of-concept stage in additively manufacturing gold, platinum and silver alloys on an ExOne Innovent+. In 2022, the company intends to scale up the technology to the InnoventPro 3L to apply BJT quality, productivity and economics to the luxury goods and jewellery markets.
“Our team at Neoshapes plans to run an ambitious R&D project covering all aspects of manufacturing in order to finally allow luxury brands to benefit from repetitive batch scale manufacturing of revolutionary designs, with unrivalled quick time to market,” commented Stéphane Vigié, board member of Neoshapes.
The InnoventPro features a 3 L build area of 125 x 220 x 100 m and Triple ACT compaction technology for dispensing, spreading and compacting ultra-fine MIM powders. The machine is packaged with the recirculating binder deposition head that comes standard on ExOne production machines, which enables scalability to larger models, if necessary. This new binder deposition head is said to be capable of speeds of up to 700 cc/hour with a new class of patented Nanofuse™ binders. These binders are embedded with nanoparticles intended to improve part quality and simplify sintering.
The machine also feature a new comprehensive powder containment, including the X1 Powder Grip™ loading system. The new system for ultra-fine MIM powder management is said to eliminate scooping, dumping, powder clouds, and cleanup in metal BJT. To load metal powder into the new machine, a user positions two X1 Powder Grip containers – which weigh about 9 kg each when fully loaded with 316L stainless steel – into a powder hopper at the rear of the machine. After the powder release valve is opened, a conveyance system lifts the powder hopper from a loading position into the build area for recoating and manufacturing.
The X1 Powder Grip is also designed to be used for powder reclamation and reuse with a new depowdering station that pairs with the InnoventPro.
The InnoventPro was designed by ExOne’s BJT engineering team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and Gersthofen, Germany. Final manufacturing and assembly was done in the US.
The InnoventPro and its X1 Powder Grip system are slated to premiere at Formnext 2021. The machine is available for early-access machine customers in the first half of 2022, with broad availability to follow.