Desktop Metal now shipping Digital Sheet Metal Forming Machine

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Justin Nardone, CEO of Figur, with the Figur G15 Digital Sheet Metal Forming machine
Justin Nardone, CEO of Figur, with the Figur G15 Digital Sheet Metal Forming machine/Source: Business Wire

Desktop Metal, a global leader in mass production Additive Manufacturing 2.0 technologies, recently announced the first commercial shipments of the Figur G15, an innovative Digital Sheet Metal Forming (DSF) machine tool, to Saltworks Fab, a Florida-based automotive restoration and hot rod company.

Satworks is installing two Figur G15 platforms at its Sarasota, Florida facility to accelerate its auto restoration business and provide new customers with access to metal forming services. With manual hammering and laborious forming processes, the company frequently creates metal body panels that are no longer commercially available.

Figur G15 – Digital Sheet Metal Forming Machine

Saltworks Fab becomes the first to install Figur G15/Source: YouTube

By investing in the Figur G15, the company will significantly reduce production times while also benefiting from the flexibility of digital manufacturing to create complex shapes, efficient one-offs, or short-run designs. Saltworks recently showcased the Figur G15’s capabilities at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where the team displayed the entire side body of a Mercedes Gullwing made of 6061 aluminium panels formed on the G15 in less than 10 hours for the entire 15-piece assembly.

“Our team has over 100 years of combined metal-shaping experience, and we’re excited to bring the latest digital metal forming technology in-house. The Figur G15 buys us time. It allows us to bring vintage vehicles back to their former glory while also enabling us to enter a whole new level of business helping customers that currently don’t have the ability or resources to form metal. Figur G15 allows us to expand access to metal-shaping services to a broader variety of small businesses, design shops, and self-builders.”

– David Jacobsen, CEO of Saltworks Fab

The Figur G15 is the first commercially available machine tool platform capable of shaping sheet metal on the fly without the need for custom tooling. The Figur G15, which was unveiled at the 2022 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, employs patent-pending DSF technology, in which a software-driven ceramic toolhead on a gantry shapes standard sheet metal into parts with up to 2,000 lbs of forming force without tooling, using software that simplifies sheet metal part production.

Rob Ida of Rob Ida Concepts in New Jersey recently posted on Instagram @rob_ida about how he is using the Figur G15 technology to create components for a 1955 Tucker Carioca, a vehicle concept from legendary carmarker Preston Tucker that never made it from drawing to production.

“The response to Figur G15 from the market across a wide variety of sectors has been exciting. The G15 eliminates a lot of the work required when forming metal, such as the design and manufacturing of tools and dies. Our system produces designs quickly, accurately, and repeatedly, so manufacturers are able to focus on the craftsmanship of design while getting their products to market faster and more efficiently.”

– Justin Nardone, CEO of Figur, a Desktop Metal brand

Saltworks intends to add two more G15 systems, for a total of four, to its initial fleet in the near future, with plans to run all four machines across three shifts to meet demand.

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Abhimanyu Chavan is the founder of Manufactur3D Magazine. He writes on Additive Manufacturing technology, interviews industry leaders, shares industry insights, and expresses his thoughts on the latest developments in the industry. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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