Create a free Industrial Equipment News account to continue

Metal 3D Printing Patents Make it Easier to Remove Support Structures

Video shows how patented Separable Supports make it easy to remove support structures by hand.

Desktop Metal has been granted patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its inventions in interface layer technology for both its Studio System, an office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping, and Production System, a 3D printing system for mass production of high resolution parts. 

The company has exclusive rights to the patented technologies and adds these to its existing portfolio of over a hundred pending patent applications covering more than two hundred inventions. 

“The technological innovation in these patents enables users, for the first time, to print large metal parts with complex geometries that can be easily removed from their support structures by hand or to print metal objects with separable interlocking structures,” says Jonah Myerberg, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Desktop Metal, in a press release. 

U.S. Patent No. 9,815,118 and U.S. Patent No. 9,833,839 cover the separable support layer technology used in the Desktop Metal Studio System, which began shipping in December 2017, and in its Production System, which is scheduled to begin shipping in late 2018.

Additionally, the company owns several more pending patent applications covering other aspects of this technology. 

“Traditional laser powder bed methods for metal additive manufacturing (AM) are restricted to single materials and are both difficult and costly to implement,” said Myerberg. “Desktop Metal has designed new approaches for metal AM that now allow multiple materials to be used during printing. This makes it possible to print support structures that do not bond to parts and consolidate during sintering with the part and, as a result, high dimensional accuracy is achieved, and support structures are easily removed by hand. We believe the benefit of this technology covered by the patents will enable substantially increased adoption of metal AM.” 

The Studio System includes a printer, a debinder, and a sintering furnace that, together, deliver metal 3D printed parts in an engineer’s office or on the shop floor.

To manufacture metal 3D printed parts at scale, Desktop Metal also debuted the only 3D printing system for mass production of high resolution metal parts today, the Production System.

More in Product Development