During a live launch event on June 23, SLM Solutions introduced the new FreeFloat approach to metal AM, dramatically reducing the need for supports in its SLM metal L-PBF process. The launch took place digitally and the presentation video is accessible to everyone at this link.
FreeFloat technology promises to empower the creation of metal components with previously impossible designs and unmatched productivity, reducing overall material usage and minimizing the end-part cost to achieve industrial-scale production.
Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the upcoming product launch: “Last year we introduced an industry gamechanger—the NXG ll 600—but we won’t stop there. Today, after three years in the making and care of many of the world’s most visionary engineers, we are proud to add a new technology to our portfolio.”
FreeFloat is expected to have a record impact on part design and increases the productivity of the entire process by reducing powder consumption and scrap and shortening post-processing times. Likewise, improved thermal management will significantly shorten the build time while substantially reducing part stress. As a result, a surface finish like no other will soon be the new norm.
And—like almost everything they bring to life—it’s holistic. On this topic, O’Leary added: “Why is it is available for most systems in our portfolio? Because we strive to make every new piece of technology meet the demands of every priorly-built machine. We believe that creating truly open architecture is the only way to bring additive manufacturing to its powerful potential.”
What’s more, the technology’s basic subscription will be completely free of charge. O’Leary explains, “The goal is to be relentless in innovation. It’s free because we want to empower our partners and customer base. Why should this remain an enablement of just a few when it can benefit all?”
O’Leary concluded that “[FreeFlow] is another milestone, not only for us but for the entire industry. As a high-tech company, we are once again shaping the face of additive manufacturing with this product launch. It’s the next disruption in the manufacturing industry.”