On June 12, 2013, 3D Systems announced the intent to acquire Phenix Systems in France. That acquisition was complete by July 15, 2013, and for everyone at 3D Systems, now the real fun begins.
The entire company is fascinated by all levels of 3D printing – from consumer through to industrial - but the sheer quality of the metal and ceramic 3D printing by Phenix has taken our collective fascination to new heights.
Phenix is known for its high-quality finish and ability to successfully manufacture even very tiny parts. This translates into the engineering world by saying that layers at as little as 20 microns thickness can be created in precious metals and ceramics, resulting in the ability to create very small, detailed parts with a superb finish. This makes it ideal for orthodontic parts manufacturing, where very precise and complex pieces are custom-fit to patients' own mouths. But Phenix systems can be used for any part up to a current build size of 250 x 250 x 300 mm, with that same level of accuracy if needed.
The systems use Laser Sintering technology, which uses powdered materials from which to build. Materials available include stainless steel, precious metals, tool steel, non-ferrous alloys, super alloys and ceramics.
(Image above right - a tiny part created for orthodontic products, using Phenix 3D printing systems.)
You can also see a great photo gallery on the Phenix products and parts at Design News magazine.