Methods 3D Expands Presence for Additive Manufacturing Labs

3D System’s modular ‘Figure 4” cell was operating lights-out with Fanuc robotic arms, mass-producing multiple parts.

Methods 3D, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Methods Machine Tools Inc., continues to broaden its presence in 3D printing through the completion of seven additive manufacturing laboratories strategically located across the U.S.

The company has also added personnel to support its new infrastructure, and James Hanson was appointed as chief operating officer.

3D System’s modular ‘Figure 4” cell was operating lights-out with Fanuc robotic arms, mass-producing multiple parts. Figure 4 is the company's new high speed SLA technology capable of generating parts up to 50 times faster than typical SLA printers. 

Discrete modules in the system enable automation to pass 3D printed parts from design to printing to washing, curing and final finishing, all without human involvement. 

The company's advanced new additive manufacturing labs are outfitted with 18 printers, including direct metal printing (DMP), select laser sintering (SLS), stereolithography (SLA) and Multi-Jet models running 14 different materials. A full complement of post-processing equipment such as EDM, CNC machining, automation and inspection is also onsite, and each location is staffed by a team of sales, application engineers and service technicians. The additive manufacturing labs are in each of Methods Machine Tools’ technology centers, including Sudbury, Massachuscettes (Boston) headquarters; Detroit, Michigan; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.

“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,” Mr. Hanson says. “Engineers have been bringing their application challenges to us, and we have been working with them to implement this technology into their manufacturing operations.”

Before his recent appointment as Methods 3D, Mr. Hanson was director, corporate development of Methods Machine Tools Inc. from 2007 through 2015. 

In October 2015, Methods Machine Tools announced it entered into a partner agreement with 3D Systems, a provider of 3D digital design and fabrication solutions.