Desktop Metal starts selling the first digital sheet metal forming machines – Figur G15

Desktop Metal has announced the commencement of the first deliveries of its digital sheet forming (DSF) machine, the Figur G15. The first customer is Saltworks Fab – a car and hot rod restoration company based in Florida, USA. The Figur G15 is an industrial machine that shapes steel sheets directly from file, using new, patent-pending digital sheet forming (DSF) technology. This solution does not require the use of stamping tools, molds, dies or a press.

Saltworks Fab creates metal body panels that are no longer available on the market, often relying on hand forging and labor-intensive forming processes. With the introduction of two new Figur G15 machines, the company aims to revolutionize its approach to production, reducing time and expanding its offering to meet the needs of new customers. DSF technology enables the creation of complex shapes, efficient one-off designs and short-series designs. Saltworks Fab showcased the capabilities of Figur G15 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas by creating the entire side body of a Mercedes Gullwing from 6061 aluminum panels, which was formed in less than 10 hours, a complete 15-piece assembly.

In addition to Saltworks, another company that uses Figur G15 is New Jersey-based Rob Ida Concepts, which creates components for the 1955 Tucker Carioca. It is a concept vehicle from legendary car manufacturer Preston Tucker that never made it from drawing to production.

Digital cutting tools are widely used in the sheet metal forming and fabrication industries, but no such machine has yet been widely commercialized. Most solutions require custom forming tools, molds or dies, which have long production times and are expensive. DSF technology was created to maintain high precision thanks to a patented build platform design that reduces the distribution of forces on the sheet during operation. Desktop Metal hopes this will improve sheet metal fabricators’ business agility and make sheet metal forming available for new applications in a variety of volumes.

The Figur G15 features a program-controlled XY-axis ceramic tool head that progressively forms large sheets of metal layer by layer with up to 2,000 pounds of force. The forming area is 1,450 x 1,000 mm and allows the Figur G15 to process positive and negative molds up to 400 mm in the vertical Z direction. A variety of metals and thicknesses can also be processed, including steel up to 2 mm thick and aluminum up to 2.5 mm thick.


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