Methods 3D: expanding US presence and innovation in 3D printing

Methods 3D, a newly formed subsidiary of Methods Machine Tools, Inc., is expanding its number of additive manufacturing laboratories across the USA, which are equipped with 3D printers covering a range of processes and materials.

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A new subsidiary of Methods Machine Tools Inc., Methods 3D Inc., has introduced seven new manufacturing laboratories around the USA aimed at expanding their presence in the US 3D printing and manufacturing market, with James Hanson appointed as its Chief Operating Officer.

At the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in September this year, Methods 3D Inc. showcased a number of new products, including an integrated production cell, Figure 4, which illustrates how 3D technology can be used alongside an automated cell environment to manufacture 3D components. Using high-speed stereolithography technology, the Figure 4 system is able to mass produce 3D parts 50-times faster than normal stereolithography printers. Components within the system allow 3D-printed parts to be automatically transferred from design to printing, washing, curing and final finishing automatically and without human input.

In addition to Figure 4, the new Methods 3D laboratories are also equipped with 18 printers including direct metal printing, select laser sintering, stereolithography and multi-jet models that are able to process 14 different materials. Each laboratory comprises a full complement of postprocessing equipment, as well as fully-trained, highly skilled staff.

James Hansen, chief operating officer of Methods 3D, states: "Our new additive labs are ideal for manufacturing professionals to consult our experts and explore ways to design and produce their components using the latest 3D technology integrated with conventional machining, automation and more."

In addition, in 2015, Methods Machine tools, Inc. entered into a collaboration with 3D Systems, which allowed Methods Machine Tools to expand its portfolio of precision machine tools using 3D printing technology. Specifically, this has enabled further expansion and innovation with 3D printing, as Methods 3D, Inc. has been able to draw upon the extensive manufacturing and machining experience of Methods Machine Tools, Inc. while taking advantage of the cutting-edge 3D design and fabrication solutions offered by 3D Systems.

Hansen further comments, "By partnering with 3D Systems, whose core competencies complement Methods' suite of metalworking machining and automation solutions, we will provide our customers the most advanced 3D printing available, in addition to the highest level of service, support and solutions that Methods Machine Tools is known for. We are at the front end of this innovative technology that is poised to grow exponentially."

We look forward to new innovations on offer by Methods 3D and their endeavors to expand the field of 3D printing.

– Written by Zara Parker


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