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Affordable Metal Printing

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As more industries investigate the use of additive manufacturing to create production parts rather than prototypes, metal printing capabilities are in higher demand. A new Pennsylvania company claims it can help more companies adopt the technology by offering relatively low-cost metal manufacturing systems.

“We’re taking the essential specs that direct metal additive manufacturing systems require and combining them with breakthrough technology to establish a new level of price and performance,” said Juan Mario Gomez, CEO of State College, PA-based Xact Metal. “We’d like manufacturers to experience the benefits of high-quality 3D metal printing at the best price possible. Xact Metal aims to change the perception that additive manufacturing is only for capital-rich companies.”

In May the company launched its first metal additive manufacturing printer, the XM200.

At $120,000, the XM200 printer features a large build volume of 125-in. (5x5x5 in.) or 2049cc (127x127x125 mm), a 250W fiber laser, and a high-speed scanner that the company claims fuses at speeds up to 1.5 meter/sec. The laser beam is constantly orthogonal across the entire powder bed surface, which the company says enables it to produce consistent fusing characteristics throughout the build area.

The machine can print using 316L stainless steel powder, and the company is developing solutions for printing nickel alloy 718, titanium 6AI 4V, aluminum Si10Mg, and maraging steel.

“The XM200 is designed with the needs of customers in mind,” said Matt Woods, CTO of Xact Metal. “The large build volume gives great flexibility to print a variety of parts. The system is highly accessible and easy to use and its modern software architecture is streamlined, intuitive and supportive of visual workflows. And with a compact footprint, the XM200 allows customers to put one or several systems in their work areas.”

Woods, formerly an engineer at SpaceX and Penn State’s CIMP-3D, designed the XM200. Gomez previously worked at GE in the company’s aircraft engine division as well as serving as general manager of GE’s sensing and inspection technologies operation.

Shipments of the XM200 begin in September. The new printer will be on display at the Additive Manufacturing Conference in Knoxville, TN, Oct. 10-12, as well as at Formnext in Frankfurt (Nov. 14-17) and the Defense Manufacturing Conference in Tampa (Dec. 4-7).

Source: Xact Metal

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