Desktop Metal acquired Aerosint, a provider of multi-material deposition systems for powder-based additive manufacturing (AM). Based in Belgium, Aerosint offers a powder deposition system based on a proprietary digital process that selectively deposits two or more powders to form a single, thin powder layer containing multiple materials. The company’s patented selective powder deposition technology enables full three-dimensional control of material placement during printing. It can be integrated into any powder-bed AM process, such as laser powder-bed fusion, binder jetting, high-speed sintering or selective laser sintering. This multi-material approach to powder deposition is designed to support high-speed printing of a broad range of metals, polymers and ceramics.

In addition to reducing powder waste, material cost and post-processing time associated with single-material, commercially available powder-bed AM processes, multi-material powder deposition has the potential to realize additional benefits at scale. Such benefits include localized optimization of mechanical properties (such as wear resistance or vibration dampening) and improved chemical and physical properties (such as thermal and electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance).

Examples of applications for multi-material printing include:

  • Molds with conformal cooling channels optimized for heat dissipation
  • Wear-resistant cutting tools with a hard exterior and ductile interior
  • Conductive metal paths within polymer parts for flexible electronics
  • Bi-material luxury goods with superior aesthetics