Materials

Cooksongold and 3D LAB bring compact precious metal powder atomizer to market

After an exhibition season that has seen Cooksongold increase its presence in the 3D printing industry, the UK’s largest jewelry maker and precious metals processor has announced a new collaboration.

Headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, 3D LAB is an official 3D Systems reseller, service bureau and manufacturer of atomization technology. Cooksongold is partnering with 3D LAB to bring a compact powder atomization machine to the market.

The first of its kind for 3D printing, the ATO Noble uses a patented ultrasonic plasma atomization process tuned for the processing of precious metals like silver, platinum and gold. Relatively small in size, the machine is designed to be used in research laboratories for cost-effective production of small quantities of 3D printing powder.

“We’re pleased to start our collaboration with Cooksongold in the production of precious metal powders,” comments Jakub Rozpendowski, Business Executive of 3D LAB.

“Their expert knowledge combined with our novel ultrasonic atomisation technology has a great potential to make ATO Noble an important solution for new metal material development by reducing the time to market for new, innovative products.”

Cooksongold precious metal additive manufacturing

Through a partnership with leading 3D printer OEM EOS, Cooksongold has been working with precious metals in this space for several years. Together, the partners market the Precious M080 DMLS 3D printer to jewelry, dental and medical sectors. More recently, however, Cooksongold has found other areas of interest for this machine. 3D printed precious metal projects the company is working on now include component manufacture for companies in the aerospace sector.

With the launch of the ATO Noble, Cooksongold and 3D LAB are providing a tool to help researchers in their exploration of what 3D printed precious metals can do.

The Precious M080 3D printer. Image via EOS and Cooksongold
The Precious M080 3D printer. Image via EOS and Cooksongold

ATO Noble ultrasonic atomization

The ATO Noble takes metal rods or wire as raw material. For ease-of-installation, the machine also measures 1995  x 813 x 1138 mm (L x W x H) compact in comparison to other powder atomizers.

The ultrasonic plasma atomization method employed by the system is cheaper than other methods as it doens’t have to factor in the high price of gas used in the process. It is also a ‘Zero Losses Technology,” reportedly ensuring that 100% of precious raw material is turned into useable feedstock.

“We are confident that this revolutionary technology will have a major impact within the whole precious metal additive manufacturing market,” comments Martin Bach, Managing Director of Cooksongold. “Powder quality and costs are key drivers in this field this technology will offer considerable advantages.”

The ATO Noble ultrasonic plasma atomizer from Cooksongold and 3D LAB. Photo via 3D LAB
The ATO Noble ultrasonic plasma atomizer from Cooksongold and 3D LAB. Photo via 3D LAB

Another form of ultrasonic atomization, developed in 2016 at Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), recently made its public debut through spinout company Amazemet and a prototype machine. Elsewhere in powder production 6K, the rebranding of Massachusetts material manufacturer Amastan Technologies, is pursuing a more sustainable, microwave plasma method of feedstock production that can use a range of different waste materials.

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Featured image shows 3D printed gold. Photo via EOS and Cooksongold

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