You Can Now 3D Print H13 Tool Steel with the Markforged Metal X

Metal X

Markforged has today released H13 Tool Steel out of beta, making the material available for use with the Metal X 3D printer.

H13 Tool Steel is an air hardening chromium-molybdenum hot work steel. It resists thermal fatigue cracking and is used in a wide range of applications. Typical applications include grippers, die inserts, dies, nut tools and other tooling. H13 Tool Steel has a very high hardness and is widely used in hot and cold work tooling applications.

Here’s the data worksheet for H13 Tool Steel:

Data sheet

You can also download the worksheet here.

Launched January 2017, the Metal X uses a technology called ADAM (Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing). This prints parts using a metal powder, which are then transformed into a dense metal through a separate sintering process. The parts are printed in metal powder surrounded by plastic, and the plastic is then dissolved and the powder sintered to create solid metal parts. This process results in flawless parts.

The beauty of this particular process is crystal growth occurs throughout all axes, so sintered parts are solid with no structural weakness. This gives parts the strength and mechanical properties of solid metal – as if they were forged. The clincher is you can produce parts with detail and geometries that would take weeks to fabricate with machining.

With a build volume of 250 mm x 220 mm x 200 mm (WDH) the Metal X can fabricate tooling for a wide range of applications. H13 Tool Steel is supplied in powder form for the Metal X. Markforged says it has “Excellent hot toughness and wear resistance” which makes it a “great choice for injection moulds and metal forming tools.”

Metal X Capabilities

The Markforged Metal X is capable of 3D printing 17-4PH Stainless Steel, H13 Tool Steel, 316L stainless steel (beta), 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). We have bolded the materials that are out of beta, with these materials now available for use in your workshop.

It also comes with an on-board camera for remote monitoring, and it runs on the cloud-based Eiger software platform developed by Markforged. Eiger offers two-factor authentication and is exceptionally easy to wrap your head around. The software is logical and feature-packed, with fiber routing, in-built slicing and a full printer management suite to help you get the most from your 3D printer.

If you’re considering a Metal X for your own workshop, we have no doubt it will add significant value to your tooling production. It’s capable of 3D printing parts with complex geometries and odd shapes. Parts printed with the Metal X are 95 – 99 per cent dense depending on the furnace used. This is competitive with the best direct metal laser sintering machines on the market which cost much more.

You can find out more about the metals the Metal X prints here. We are an authorised Markforged distributor in the UK. Click here to request a quote for the Metal X and find out more about it. Interested in other Markforged 3D printers? You can check out the full range here, which includes the Mark Two, X3, X5 and X7.