Stratasys Ltd., one of the global leaders in applied additive technology has announced the formation of Vulcan Labs, Inc. – a new spin-off to advance innovation of Powder-Bed Fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing. The company has established Vulcan Labs to meet the complex demands of end-use production applications with an aim to overcome the challenges in AM such as deficiencies of productivity, quality, and certification. The primary focus of the company will be to advance quality, repeatability, and efficiency of PBF technology with an initial focus on metals.
Powder-bed fusion is an additive manufacturing technology which fuses powdered material to additively create/build 3D objects. Other technologies which operate on this principle are Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), and Selective Heat Sintering (SHS).
The Powder-bed fusion process uses a laser or an electron beam to sinter, melt and fuse the powder particles together while it traces the cross-section of the object to be created. On completion of the first layer, the powder dispensing unit spreads a new layer of powder onto the build platform and the printing continues for the next layer. This process continues till the complete object is built.
The formation of Vulcan Labs, Inc. culminates from 2014 acquisition of production-oriented service bureau Harvest Technology by Stratasys. However, Vulcan Labs will operate as a stand-alone entity and will collaborate with application partners to advance accessibility of the additive manufacturing technology, help then meet the stringent requirements of production-ready applications, and will aim for advancing rapid introduction of enhanced PBF-based solutions. Vulcan Labs’ quality focused solutions will include the following:
- Automated powder handling and in-situ powder quality characterization
- Automated calibration and build set-up capabilities
- Closed loop melt pool quality control
- In-depth data logging and integration to the factory floor
- Enhanced build environments and unique multi-laser scan strategies
The new company’s management team will be led by industry pioneer David K. Leigh. Being the original Founder and CEO of Harvest Technologies, Leigh is considered an expert in additive manufacturing especially the ones designed for end-use parts applications in different industries and has been appointed because of his decade-long experience across real-world production applications of both polymers and metals.
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Offering details about the continued collaboration with Stratasys, David K Leigh, CEO of Vulcan Labs, INC. said, “We’re extremely excited to continue our long-standing collaboration with Stratasys that began back in 2014. Together, we’ll continue to explore unique solutions that strengthen the production ecosystem across additive manufacturing.”
Our team will bring a unique perspective to solving many of the issues from an end-user perspective. We’re looking forward to delivering new solutions for customers to take control of their applications while having the tools in place to manage their own quality,” Leigh added.
“Vulcan’s best-in-class team has both the experience and technical know-how necessary to bring PBF into real-world production – a vision perfectly aligned and complementary to our other activities in this space, including Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and our investment in LPW,” said Stratasys CEO, Ilan Levin.
“To provide Vulcan with the best path to achieve its vision, we decided to form a new and independent entity, with Stratasys as an equity stakeholder. We are delighted to continue supporting this team and look forward to collaborating with them and their partners to achieve this vision,” concluded Levin.
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