A New Source for Additive Manufacturing

Methods Machine Tools Inc. has entered into a partner agreement with 3D Systems to expand its manufacturing equipment portfolio to 3D printing, immediately offering 3D Systems’ full line of professional and production 3D printers and materials.

Earlier this month, Methods Machine Tools Inc. hosted its Techfest 2015 event, an open house to showcase eight Methods partners/manufacturers featuring more than 30 machines under power. Technical seminars were also presented on both days of the event that covered topics such as the Reshoring Initiative, Automation in the Small Shop, and the Simple Approach to Twin Spindle Technology.

The big story that took place at Techfest, though, was the announcement that Methods has entered into a partner agreement with 3D Systems to expand its manufacturing equipment portfolio to 3D printing. Methods is immediately offering 3D Systems’ full line of professional and production 3D printers and materials to its customers to enhance its traditional manufacturing portfolio with advanced 3D printing solutions for additive manufacturing.

To spearhead its entrance into the market, Methods is adding dedicated 3D printing sales, application engineering and support teams to its seven regional offices throughout the U.S. and will create a 3D printing showroom with a range of capabilities at each location. The company will put a strong strategic focus on the direct metal printers (DMP) to deliver enhanced solutions to their customers.

Bryon Deysher, Methods president and CEO, says, “We are excited to expand our portfolio of precision machine tool solutions to bring additive manufacturing, especially direct metal printing, to our customers to help them meet the most demanding applications.”

Mark Wright, 3D Systems chief operating officer, adds, “Methods brings a deep understanding of metalworking manufacturing applications and a strong commitment to service and support and will extend our coverage to new customers looking to add digital fabrication solutions to their products.”

While Methods’ showrooms will eventually display the full lineup of 3D Systems’ machines, Techfest introduced visitors to a few of the models in the ProX line. All 3D Systems DMP printers create chemically pure, fully dense metal and ceramic parts, and they deliver accuracy compatible with EN ISO 2768 (fine) machining tolerances and repeatability of about 20 microns in all three axes. Materials include stainless steel, tool steel, super alloys, nonferrous alloys, precious metals and alumina. The ProX line is designed to provide seamless and intuitive metal 3D printing in a variety of industries, including custom dental prostheses, orthopedic implants, tire molds, watch manufacturing, aerospace parts, and more.