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Forget plastic — this desktop 3D printer builds with aluminum, titanium, and steel

Desktop Metal, a company dedicated to bring metal 3D printing to the next level, has launched two new systems to help it achieve its goal in style.

Called the DM Studio and DM Production systems, the two new printers promise to cover every step in the metal printing process from prototyping to mass production, with the ability to 3D print custom objects out of alloys including steel, aluminum, copper, and titanium.

Best of all? While previous 3D metal printers have often been limited in terms of their speed and accessibility, Desktop Metal’s “microwave enhanced sintering” process makes 3D metal printing as straightforward as printing in plastic. And their ease-of-use means you won’t constantly need someone manning the machines, either!

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“The DM Studio System was designed to bring metal 3D printing to the shop floor by allowing engineering and design teams to make complex metal parts faster, without the need for special facilities or dedicated operators,” Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop told Digital Trends. “We expect a number of industries to be interested in a Studio system, including automotive, manufacturing, and consumer products. It is ideal for prototyping and low volume metal 3D printing needs.”

The DM Production System, meanwhile, can handle your high volume production. It can produce an astonishing 8,200 cubic centimeters of metal objects every single hour, making it a massive 100x zippier than previously-available machines.

As much as we might lust after these creations, though, they’re intended for industry more than they are for home maker studios. According to Fulop, Desktop Metal has already had interest from several Fortune 50 corporations with an interest in additive manufacturing, including BMW, Caterpillar and Lowe’s.

The Studio System starts at $49,900, and costs more than twice that if you opt for the full printer, debinder, and furnace combo. The Desktop Metal Production System, meanwhile, costs $420,000 to purchase. Both are available for pre-order in May, although you’ll be waiting until September for the Studio System and early 2018 for its high volume big brother.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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