Mintek adds a laser powder bed fusion 3D printer to array of cutting-edge technology

The acquisition of the AMAZEMET rePowder ultrasonic atomisation and alloy development machine by Mintek, South Africa’s national mineral research council, marked a technological breakthrough for the mineral processing and manufacturing industry. Mintek is proud to announce the purchase of a GE Additive Concept Laser Mlab Cusing R laser powder bed fusion 3D printer. Multitrade 3D Systems supplied and installed the machine.

With the introduction of the state-of-the-art rePowder ultrasonic atomiser machine, Mintek has positioned itself as a unique player in the industry. This advanced technology enables Mintek to efficiently process a diverse range of materials into metal powder. This development is particularly significant as it addresses the country’s reliance on imported metal powder, establishing Mintek as a leader in this aspect of the industry in South Africa. It complements the atomisation capabilities at Mintek.

The 3D printer acquisition in Mintek’s arsenal completes the value chain. From the metal powder produced by the rePowder ultrasonic atomisation and alloy development machine, Mintek is now geared to manufacture metal components and prototypes across a spectrum of industries. From crafting components for the medical, dental, aerospace, and automotive sectors to contributing to tooling, jewellery, energy generation, petrochemical, rail, and maritime applications.

Commenting on the acquisition, CEO of Mintek, Dr Molefi Motuku shared, “Mintek’s new acquisition displays our dedication to having globally competitive infrastructure. This ensures that we remain relevant and attractive to partners in industry. The acquisition showcases Mintek’s emphasis on scientific excellence and technological advancements, further reinforcing our reputation as a world-class solutions provider in mineral technology,” Motuku added.

A stainless steel impeller printed by Dr Hein Moller for the Site Acceptance Test (SAT)

A significant advantage of this technology is the continuous expansion in the range of metals and alloys that can be produced, it will allow Mintek to produce parts with varying mechanical properties. Speaking about the new acquisition, Chief Engineer in Physical Metallurgy at Mintek, Dr Hein Moller expressed confidence in the new acquisition stating that: “We are excited about the new 3D printer, getting the AMAZEMET rePowder ultrasonic atomiser system meant that we can now produce metal powder for 3D printing, purchasing the 3D printer in combination with our atomisers gives Mintek a significant advantage and highlights our commitment to excellence. The custom parts and prototypes that will be produced by Mintek’s metal 3D printer will solve a diverse range of urgent and cost-sensitive needs.”

This new acquisition demonstrates Mintek’s focused approach emphasising its scientific excellence and technological breakthroughs. “Mintek has a vital role in strengthening South Africa’s international reputation in science and innovation. In order to achieve this goal, it is important for Mintek to remain abreast of the latest equipment and technology, which it is actively pursuing through its current efforts,” concludes Motuku.

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