Desktop Metal has been awarded Phase I of a three-year, $2.45 million project from the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop an additive-manufacturing (AM) process capable of mass producing cobalt-free hardmetals developed by the U.S. Army. The company’s Production System with single-pass jetting (SPJ), a proprietary AM technology developed by Desktop Metal, will mass manufacture complex-shaped, cobalt-free hardmetal parts without tooling. It is expected to lead to the development of a dual-use technology with numerous applications for the DoD as well as in the civilian sector, including parts for the steel and aerospace industries.

The goals and requirements of the three-year project include:

  • Development of a feedstock and binder system for novel cobalt-free hardmetal
  • Using the Desktop Metal SPJ process to print at least 200,000 parts in one day from a single machine
  • Scaling up its advanced SPJ binder-jet manufacturing technique to successfully manufacture at least 500,000 prototype pieces

Desktop Metal’s Production System is designed to be the fastest way to 3D-print metal parts at-scale. It leverages patent-pending SPJ technology to achieve print speeds up to 100 times those of legacy powder-bed-fusion AM technologies.