22 September 2014

Cooksongold launches the precious M 080 direct metal laser sintering system

Cooksongold, part of the Heimerle + Meule Group, together with strategic partner EOS, the technology and market leader for additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, has announced the launch of the PRECIOUS M 080 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) system at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, September 2014. Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at EOS states: “This Additive Manufacturing (AM) process introduces an innovative and paradigm shifting technology to the luxury goods industry. With Cooksongold we found the perfect partner for the extension of our technology into this industry. Additive Manufacturing paves the way for a completely new approach towards design and manufacturing, enabling the design-driven manufacturing the industry has long been searching for.”

Providing the quickest route from product concept to market launch
With AM, Cooksongold will support the most demanding jewellery brands in the creation of entirely new product lines that meet their high quality standards. David Fletcher, European Product Manager at Cooksongold, explains: “Utilising the power of 3D CAD design, DMLS technology will challenge a designer’s imagination and enable the creation of jewellery and watch components that previously would have been impossible to successfully manufacture. AM will change the economics of producing watch and jewellery products by offering a streamlined manufacturing process that dramatically reduces the time required from design conception to final part realisation. DMLS will also enable the production of design-driven pieces that are not limited by the restrictions of conventional production techniques such as lost wax casting, eliminating many process steps and costs that we normally encounter.”

At Cooksongold, product and service offerings will range from the sale and installation of a PRECIOUS M 080 machine and the supporting supply chain for jewellery and watch production including licences, advanced metal powder, software and training. Cooksongold will also provide consultation for a DMLS-driven design process and bureau service for production of bespoke precious metal parts.

PRECIOUS M 080 fast facts, design guidelines, training and service
The PRECIOUS M 080 system is equipped with a 100-watt fibre laser, providing exceptional beam quality and power stability. This guarantees optimum and consistent processing conditions for highest quality parts building. The system has a small spot size with excellent detail resolution, allowing the creation of even the finest structures.

It is designed to ensure maximum accountability of the precious metal powder used in the process. The system also enables quick turnaround between jobs and materials via its cartridge based system, which includes an extraction cartridge for easy removal of powder. The PRECIOUS M 080 has an 80 mm diameter round build platform with a working stroke of 95 mm (high, including building platform). The advanced metal powders produced by Cooksongold have been optimised to match the performance of the Precious M 080 system, ensuring that customers can start building parts immediately upon machine installation. Currently the system can build parts using a variety of gold alloys and future development of additional materials to meet customer requirements is planned.

During the design process, it is key that customers design with the capabilities of DMLS in mind and that they follow some key design guidelines to achieve the best results. This will enable designers to produce pieces previously unachievable by conventional production methods. A copy of the design guidelines can be accessed via the Cooksongold DMLS website.

Cooksongold will provide clients with detailed and comprehensive training packages for PRECIOUS M 080 machine operation and designing for DMLS. Training can either take place at the Cooksongold production & technical facility in Birmingham, UK prior to installation or at a client’s facility after machine installation.

EOS and Cooksongold recommend that users familiarise themselves with the capabilities of the process first. For this, Cooksongold has introduced a number of offers which are available for potential system purchase customers and bureau service customers. This will enable clients to test DMLS with their designs to begin to understand the benefits of the technology.

Designers are excited about DMLS - manufactured jewellery and watches:
• Richard Hoptroff, based in London, is more accustomed than most to adopting new technology. He was the first watch maker to produce an atomic watch and is convinced that DMLS technology offers him the best production solution available. “Critically for our enterprise, industrial 3D printing keeps batch sizes down,” he says. “You can change the design quickly and create complicated shapes that would be otherwise impossible.”

• When Johannes von Stumm, designer of the puzzle rings, first approached Cooksongold he explained why he wanted his designs 3D printed in gold rather than using traditional lost wax casting. "I create many different iterations of the same design and the ability to change and immediately print a piece offers me great flexibility. With DMLS I send over my latest design which is simply printed and ready to polish. I am even able to send multiple files and have them printed together to save cost."

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