BMF MicroArch tech targets precise, micro-scale commercial 3D printing

Published 11 February 2020

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, manufacturing, additive manufacturing, materials, tech, bmf

Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) is looking to pioneer microscale 3D printing technology, with the full launch of its MicroArch solution for industrial short-run use.

MicroArch uses a proprietary approach to DLP 3D printing named PμSL (Projection Micro-Stereolithography) that leverages light, high-precision optics and increase motion control to produce parts at a scale more than 100 times smaller than a human hair.

In industries such as electrical connectors, small medical devices, lab on a chip, and small electronics packaging, the technology should outperform the traditional approach of injection moulding, where complex mouldings can start at $200,000, but only require sub 10,000 unit production runs.

The super detailed output of BMF’s MicroArch technology

With a possible resolution of 2µ and a tolerance of ±10µm /±25µm, new markets are still presenting themselves for the technology.

Already available in Asia over the past 18 months, 40 MicroArch systems have been installed for multiple customers across a range of industries, and the company offers 7 material options, including a biocompatible resin.

“When it comes to additive manufacturing the next frontier of innovation isn’t big, it’s high precision, small parts,” said BMF CEO John Kawola, an experienced former executive at both 3D Systems and Ultimaker.

“We’re seeing a convergence of major trends as the lines between additive manufacturing and miniaturisation begin to dissolve. There’s no question that additive manufacturing starts to lose its appeal as parts get smaller. Challenges with precision and accuracy have stymied innovation for engineers and manufacturers looking to develop small, high-resolution parts. That’s all about to change with the introduction of MicroArch.”

The BMF S130 is for commercial printing and has an adjustable print area, up to 50×50×10mm

Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) was co-founded in 2016 by Dr. Nick Fang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Xiaoning He, a serial entrepreneur and Dr. Chunguang Xia, an experienced 3D printing technologist.

“Curiosity was one of the primary drivers of this discovery,” added Fang. “After realising that we could print using light, we started to imagine the broader technology and business implications - envisioning how we might break down the barriers that previously prevented manufacturers from taking advantage of 3D printing for the production of microscale parts.

“At that moment we created the business to explore the possibilities and I am incredibly excited to see what our customers will accomplish using the MicroArch.”

Comments:

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Posted by geomiq sergiy on 15 February 2020 at 06:56 AM

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