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World premiere of the new ATO metal atomizers

Formnext Fair is particularly important for metal specialists from 3D Lab. It was during this event that they presented their proprietary atomizer for the production of metal powders for the first time. This year, they were also present at the largest European trade fair bringing together representatives of the 3D printing industry. The fifth edition of the Formnext fair in Frankfurt am Main (19-22.11.2019) became an opportunity for them to present an expanded portfolio of devices from the ATO line.

Since the launch of its debut device 3D Lab has been trying to analyze the needs of customers and meet them. The result of research and lack of desire to develop are new devices that go beyond the current spectrum of applications, allowing the production of small amounts of metal powders for laboratory and industrial needs.

Facing technological limitations, high costs and spatial barriers, 3D Lab has created devices tailored to the restrictive requirements of laboratory production of metal powders and atomization of precious metals. At the same time, a “proof of concept” of the Pro device, a more industrialized version of ATO, was presented.

ATO Lab/ ATO Lab Plus

Ato Lab is the world’s first compact device for the production of metallic powders, which enjoys unflagging interest among customers looking for a fast and economical way to produce small amounts of powder in their own research laboratories. Ato Lab gives the opportunity not only to reduce production costs, but also significantly speeds up the research process and introducing further materials to the market.

ATO Lab Plus is another iteration of the device that has undergone significant optimization. It has been enriched with:

  • vacuum system that allows you to quickly prepare the right working conditions while maintaining extremely low levels of oxygen in order to achieve the highest possible chemical purity of materials,
  • sealed working chamber that enables the production of reactive metal powders and their alloys such as titanium or aluminum,
  • a new module – Multi Bolt Rod Feeding System (MBRFS), which significantly improves process efficiency, thanks to the mechanism of feeding many rods and automatic storage for many screws used in a single atomization process.

The technology of ultrasonic atomization of the material used in the device allows to achieve spherical particles with a diameter of 20 to 100 µm – the whole process is carried out in an atmosphere of shielding gas. The planned implementation is planned for the first quarter of next year.

ATO Noble

ATO Noble is a solution created for pulverizing precious metals, created on the basis of previous experience and cooperation of 3D Lab with market representatives. The solution developed for the needs of clients in the field of economic atomization of expensive and rare metal alloys is characterized by:

  • no restrictions on the minimum load,
  • easy conversion of the system to another material, which guarantees high economy and freedom of atomization process,
  • high process efficiency – creating Ato Noble, the developers were guided by obtaining the best powder flow rate. The device is able to process up to 100% powder for atomization. In connection with a dedicated filtration system, material losses of the most valuable alloys are minimized – it is also possible to recover them later for re-use.

The device allows you to process materials such as gold, silver, platinum without worrying about losing valuable raw material. The planned implementation is planned for the first quarter of next year.

ATO Pro

ATO Pro was presented as a device concept that responds to the needs of customers who unanimously pay attention to the high costs of metal powders available on the market and the inability to produce own input material for 3D printers in SLM technology. What distinguishes Ato PRO is the ability to control the full process – from the moment the powder is created to the final product – 3D printed parts.

The device has been equipped with:

  • modern system of automatic optimization of the atomization process, which, striving to maintain the best possible effect, independently monitors its correctness, correcting atomization parameters if necessary,
  • a vacuum pump that minimizes the time needed to start up and increases work efficiency,
  • innovative material feeding system in the form of wire or rod with the possibility of loading up to 10 cartridges,
  • software enabling remote access to the device, which will allow for quick operator intervention from anywhere in the world.

The solution will be available for sale within two years.

Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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