Stratasys LPM Technology Marries Additive Manufacturing, Short-Run Metal Parts Production

Stratasys seeks to help industry pioneer new era in 3D-printed production metal parts with proprietary Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM) technology, aimed at production-grade metal parts for low-to-mid volumes.

Stratasys  (Nasdaq:SSYS) in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is developing a new additive manufacturing (AM) platform for short-run metal applications based on Stratasys’ Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM) technology, designed to make production of metal parts faster, easier, and more cost-effective, with the goal of helping customers pioneer a new era in additive manufacturing for production-grade metal parts, officials say.

The advanced platform combines the value of additive manufacturing with short-run metal parts production, and is intended to disrupt conventional manufacturing approaches – driving improved efficiency and cost savings using standard powder metallurgy (PM) alloys, mechanical properties with high accuracy and controlled shrinkage, and fast throughput.

“Current approaches to 3D printing metal parts leave a lot to be desired – including slow postprocessing, painstakingly intricate support removal, and hours of matching and grinding,” Rafie Grinvald, director of product marketing and management at Stratasys. Combined with the high cost of AM powders, this means each part is expensive, with a total cost of ownership that is too hard to justify.

“Our new platform is being designed to transform the current metals additive manufacturing landscape – presenting a viable alternative to typical production methods – and helping customers dramatically reduce the costs of creating reliable, consistent production-grade, metal parts for short-run applications,” Grinvald adds.

Stratasys’ LPM solution includes a three-step, additive manufacturing process combining traditional powder metallurgy, including aluminum powders, with Stratasys’ PolyJet inkjet technology. The process includes printing of boundaries with proprietary thermal ink, powder dispensing and spreading, and then compaction of the powder layer to achieve high-density and controllable shrinkage.

The system aims to directly address needs of aerospace, defense, and automotive customers who require production of pilot-series parts, small-batch manufacturing during product ramp-up and end-of-life, and customized, lightweight, complex parts.

Stratasys is a global provider of additive manufacturing/3D printing technology, and is the manufacturer of FDM and PolyJet 3D printers. The company’s technologies are used to create prototypes, manufacturing tools, and production parts for aerospace, automotive, healthcare, consumer products, and education industries. For 30 years, Stratasys products have helped manufacturers reduce product-development time, cost and time-to-market, as well as reduce or eliminate tooling costs and improve product quality, officials say. The Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem of solutions includes: 3D printers, materials, software, services, and on-demand parts production.

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Courtney E. Howard  is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..