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Figur G15 launched for sheet metal forming by Desktop Metal

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Figur G15, a system for shaping standard sheet metal on demand directly from a digital design file, has been launched by Desktop Metal – requiring no custom stamping tools, moulds, dies, or presses.

Desktop Metal says that Figur’s patent-pending Digital Sheet-Forming (DSF) technology begins with easy-to-use software that creates a toolpath for a ceramic tool on an XY gantry to shape sheet metal with up to 2,000 lbs of force.

Figur-G15 HERO
The XY gantry uses a ceramic tool to shape sheet metal with up to 2,000 lbs of force

Precision is maintained by the proprietary build box design that reduces force distribution across the sheet during the build – a challenge that can impede accuracy, is difficult to predict, and has hindered other efforts to digitise sheet metal forming in the past.

The company says that DSF parts have a high quality surface finish straight off the machine with little to no post finishing required.

The Figur G15 launch model has an XY forming area of 1450 x 1000mm and can process forms up to 400mm in the Z direction. A wide variety of metals and sheet thicknesses can also be processed – including steel up to 2mm thick and aluminium up to 2.5mm.

The technology is claimed to be capable of producing parts such as a common automotive exhaust muffler – which would traditionally require the purchase of a $150,000 die with a three month lead time and a quantity of 1,000 parts, at around $160 cost per part, including materials – at approximately $10, primarily for materials and labour.

“This system allows you to be nimble in your design process,” said Chris Hamm, a digital fabrication engineer at Figur. “With our machine you are able to develop that car part, or that clean part quicker.”

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