Schaeffler acquires Aerosint from Desktop Metal and collaborates on Multi-Material Powders

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  • Schaeffler has acquired Desktop Metal’s Belgium-based Aerosint and will integrate its multi-material Selective Powder Deposition technology for use with Schaeffler’s laser-based multi-material AM system
Schaeffler acquires Aerosint SA from Desktop Metal: Companies aim to collaborate on Multi-Material Powders
The recoater technology of Schaeffler Aerosint SA offers enormous commercial potential for Schaeffler Special Machinery and extends Schaeffler’s technology expertise in additive manufacturing/Source: Schaeffler

Schaeffler, a German motion technology company, announced the acquisition of Aerosint SA from Desktop Metal, a global leader in Additive Manufacturing 2.0 technologies, in the United States. Schaeffler and Desktop Metal will also collaborate on additive manufacturing of multi-material powders such as metal and ceramics.

Schaeffler Aerosint SA, the newly acquired entity, will be integrated into the Schaeffler Group as an additional Schaeffler Special Machinery location.

Selective Powder Deposition (SPD) technology & Multi-Material Powders

Aerosint was founded in 2016, is headquartered in Herstal, Belgium, and employs 19 people. Desktop Metal purchased it in 2021. Aerosint invented a one-of-a-kind Selective Powder Deposition (SPD) recoater that enables multi-metal LPBF 3D printing, among other exciting applications.

“Schaeffler is one of the leading global manufacturers of components and systems as well as bearing solutions. The motion technology company has a longstanding excellence in precision mechanical engineering and an innovative mindset open to integrate new production processes like metal multi-material printing. We’re excited to collaborate with the experienced team on next-generation multi-material additive manufacturing.”

– Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal

Powder-based laser fusion (L-PBF) is a more innovative, efficient, and sustainable method of producing components for tools, prototypes, and small-series production runs.

The SPD technology enables the formation of homogeneous layers composed of multiple adjacent material deposits. Deposition is selective, which means that only the necessary amounts of the right materials are deposited at the necessary locations. The multiple material powders are kept separate and deposited by “recoaters.” These function similarly to carriages in standard office printers, “printing” 3D components with lateral powder pixel resolutions of up to 300 m.

This SPD technology, which is already on the market, can be used with both additive and indirect manufacturing processes such as laser powder bed fusion and binder jetting. Schaeffler Special Machinery plans to incorporate it into its multi-material 3D printing system, which will be available in 2024.

Fulop continued, “Aerosint’s Selective Powder Deposition (SPD) technology has demonstrated spectacular potential for laser applications, and we both agree that Schaeffler has a nearer-term roadmap for commercializing it with laser-based systems than our binder jetting technology. We will retain an option to commercialize the technology with our systems in the future, and we look forward to developing this roadmap together.”

“The expertise of Schaeffler Aerosint, combined with our high level of industrialization competence and decades of know-how in innovative production technologies, will give us a distinctive market advantage.”

– Andreas Schick, Chief Operating Officer, Schaeffler AG

Bernd Wollenick, Senior Vice President Schaeffler Special Machinery said, “By integrating this key future technology, Schaeffler Special Machinery, as a partner for production excellence, will be able to offer its customers a more diversified portfolio of systems, particularly for the manufacturing and medical technology sectors.”

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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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