Markforged has today launched an all-new industrial-grade 3D printer – and it’s a model that has blown us away. It’s called The Metal X, and it offers a real breakthrough in metal 3D printing.
The Metal X joins the Onyx One, Onyx Pro, Mark Two and Mark X 3D printers in the Markforged range. It is the first full-metal 3D printer Markforged has ever created.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
3D Print Aluminium, Titanium, Inconel and Stainless Steel Parts
The Metal X can 3D print 17-4 Stainless Steel, 303 Stainless Steel, 6061 Aluminum (Beta), 7075 Aluminum (Beta), A-2 Tool Steel (Beta), D-2 Tool Steel (Beta), IN Alloy (Inconel) 625 (Beta) and Titanium Ti-6Al-4V (Beta). Note that the Beta materials are materials that are currently in the last stages of testing. No other desktop 3D printer in the world can print this range of metals, and even larger-format 3D printers don’t support some of them.
Perhaps the most impressive material the Metal X can print with is Titanium Ti-6Al-4V. Titanium Ti-6Al-4V has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal, and it is ideal for lightweight applications. But let’s not forget this printer’s ability to print with IN Alloy (Inconel) 625, which has superb thermal properties making it ideal for heat and pressure shielding applications. Then you have 303 and 17-4 stainless steel, for CNC milling and sterile applications, and 7075 aluminium, which is stronger than most common steels. The Metal X can also print 6061 aluminium.
ADAM (Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing)
So, just how does The Metal X 3D print all those materials? By utilising a technology / process Markforged calls ADAM (Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing). ADAM prints parts using a metal powder, that transforms into a dense metal through sintering. Markforged says that the sintering process ensures that the powder grows into a dense metal through all axes, to create end-use parts and prototypes that are ready for action. Or, to explain the process more simply, parts are printed in metal powder surrounded by plastic, and the plastic is then dissolved and the powder sintered to create solid metal parts.
With ADAM, the user can also make use of honeycomb infills and other geometries – geometries which are simply not possible with subtractive manufacturing.
Outstanding Precision, Build Size and Resolution
The Metal X has a build volume of 250 mm x 220 mm x 200 mm (WDH), and can 3D print down to a layer height of 50-microns.
The Metal X is capable of printing to 50 micron layer resolution (though it has been optimised at 200 microns at launch). Printing with metal is not without it’s complexities. However, Markforged have applied all the successful features of the composite models to the Metal X to ensure great results can be achieved, within tight tolerances. At launch, parts can be loaded into Eiger, Markforged’s intuitive slicing software, which has restricted settings on launch to ensure a reliable and repeatable process is maintained. Eiger enables users to track their print progress and operate machine controls remotely. The software generates support material automatically and its algorithms restrict errors from creeping in during file setup. The Metal X truly is a revolution in affordable metal 3D printing.
Watch this video to find out more about The Metal X:
The Metal X Specifications:
Footprint: 575 mm x 467 mm x 1432 mm;
Build volume: 250 mm x 220 mm x 200 mm (WDH);
17-4 Stainless Steel
303 Stainless Steel
6061 Aluminum (Beta)
7075 Aluminum (Beta)
A-2 Tool Steel (Beta)
D-2 Tool Steel (Beta)
IN Alloy (Inconel) 625 (Beta)
Titanium Ti-6Al-4V (Beta)
To find out more about The Metal X, visit this page on the Markforged website. Pricing and availability has not yet been announced, but we’ll be adding these details as they come along.