The company was able to achieve this print speed thanks to its patented technology. Rather than using heat to melt metal powders, SPEE3D printers use supersonic deposition, in which a rocket nozzle accelerates air up to three times the speed of sound. Injected powders are deposited on to a substrate that is attached to a 6-axis robotic arm. In this process, the sheer kinetic energy of the particles causes the powders to bind together and form a high-density part with normal metallurgical properties. As a result, metal parts can be printed 100 to 1,000 times faster than with existing printing methods.
"What we demonstrated is really just the beginning,” states Byron Kennedy, co-founder and CEO of SPEE3D. “We believe ours is the fastest print demonstrated live at a show like this, and we challenge other players in the industry to print a 1 kg part faster, whether it be metal, plastic or ceramic. We want to see development in the industry, and we look forward to pushing our technology even faster. "
The live print was part of a larger demonstration of the company’s latest product 'SPEE3Dcell', which it says is the world's first 3D printing production cell. SPEE3Dcell combines a SPEE3D printer with a heat treatment furnace and a 3-axis CNC milling machine.