Desktop Metal, a company launched back in 2015 with the goal of creating affordable metal 3D printers for use in an office environment, has finally started shipping out its product to pioneer customers. The Studio System, as Desktop Metal calls its down-scaled 3D printers, was first announced back in May alongside a Pioneers Program that held interest for companies and organizations across various world industries. Those are said to include entities in heavy machinery, consumer electronics, automotive, service bureaus, machine shops, and government and education. However, interestingly enough, Desktop Metals has revealed that the first company to receive a Studio System metal 3D printer is none other than Google.
More specifically, Google's Advanced Technology and Products group (ATAP) will be the first to receive a shipment containing one of the metal 3D printer systems. ATAP manager, David Beardsley, meanwhile says that the arrival of the printer will allow the company to rapidly prototype hardware aspects of the products it develops. Moreover, although Beardsley didn't provide any specific examples of how Google would be using the printer, the system actually allows for an array of metals to be used. That's also achievable on demand, which is one of the aspects of the Studio System that Google is reportedly looking forward to putting through its paces. According to Desktop Metal, the metal 3D printing system is capable of producing results in a way that is 10 times more cost-effective than competing systems. It also includes a printer, a debinder, and a sintering furnace. All of that exists within a single system comprised of three office-friendly machines, which the company says also leads to a more rapid turnaround time for prototyping.
The company will also begin shipping its product to other Pioneer participants within the U.S. over the coming months, as well as delivering the Studio System to others who have reserved orders in early 2018. Desktop Metal lists US Navy¹s Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Built-Rite Tool & Die, The Technology House, Medtronic, and Lumenium LLC as some of those organizations who can expect to receive the metal 3D printers as part of the Desktop Metal Pioneer Program. Taking things further still, the company says that will be followed by distribution to over 30 U.S. sales partners. Those will be responsible for providing demonstrations of the Studio System and creating benchmark parts for those interested in obtaining the system for themselves. In the meantime, although Google hasn't provided any insights into its intended use of the new system, it will be interesting to see what, exactly, they are using it for if the company does eventually open up about its latest purchase.