3D PRINTERS TECH NEWS

Startup Xact Metal Launches Two Metal Powder-Bed Fusion 3D Printers for High-Performance Applications

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Pennsylvania-based 3D printing Startup, Xact Metal, announced the launch of two new Metal 3D printer XM200C and XM200S early this month. The printers costing only $80,000 and $130,000 respectively are developed to cater to an industry gap in metal 3D printing technology which the founder and CTO Matt Woods identified.

The Ex-SpaceX employee, Matt Woods, used his extensive expertise with AM systems and developed a new AM and rapid prototyping printer with Xact Metal. He found a gap in the industry and took the jump to build machines which are not only cheaper than existing machines but also much more developed.

XM200C

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Above: Xact Metal XM200C Metal Powder-Bed Fusion 3D Printer/Image Credit: Xact Metal

The XM200C metal 3D printer boasts of a large build volume of nearly 127mm3. Fitted with a 100W Yb fibre laser and a patent-pending recoater which directly affects the build quality. Scanner allows for fusion at speeds upto 500mm/sec.

The system can print with a range of materials like Stainless Steel, Super Alloys, Cobalt Chrome, Hastelloy® X, Tool Steel, Maraging Steel, and Bronze. Supported by software suites like Netfabb by Autodesk and the Magics 3D Print Suite by Materalise.

Moreover, it is designed with an open architecture which allows experienced designers to develop their own printing parameters or use their own powder.

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Above: Xact Metal Sample Jet Engine Part/Image Credit: Xact Metal

According to CEO of Xact Metal, Mario Gomez, “The XM200C makes metal powder-bed fusion available for universities, labs and small to-medium businesses who need prototyping, casting, tooling and printing of small parts, and who could not afford these systems in the past.”

He added, “In addition, when compared to bound metal deposition, atomic deposition additive manufacturing or other FDM-like metal 3D printers, metal powder-bed fusion provides high-quality and complex parts, reduces total cycle time by about 50%, and removes the need for wash/debinder and sintering/oven equipment.”

“Making metal powder-bed fusion less expensive requires innovation,” said Matt Woods, CTO of Xact Metal. “Xact Metal’s printing technology is built on the patent-pending Xact Core™, a high-speed gantry system platform that uses light, simple mirrors to move quickly and consistently above the powder bed on an X-Y axis and lowers the overall system cost.

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In addition, the Xact Core technology avoids the use of complex rotating galvanometer mirrors and F-theta lenses, maintains a constant laser angle across the whole build plate, and provides a simplified gas flow over the powder bed,” Woods added.

XM200S

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Above: Xact Metal XM200S Metal Powder-Bed Fusion 3D Printer/Image Credit: Xact Metal

The XM200S has a build size of 127mm3, almost similar to XM200C. It is fitted with a powerful 200W fibre laser with digital galvanometer mirrors which allow jogging speeds of up to 12m/sec.

The system can print with a range of materials like Aluminium, Bronze, Stainless Steel, Super Alloys, Cobalt Chrome, Hastelloy® X, Titanium, Tool Steel, and Maraging Steel. It is supported by industry-leading software suites like Netfabb by Autodesk and the Magics 3D Print Suite by Materalise.

This 3D printer too, like XM200C, is designed with an open architecture which allows experienced designers the ability to develop their own printing parameters or use their own powder.

Speaking about the XM200S, CEO of Xact Metal Juan Mario Gomez said, “Priced at $130,000, the XM200S is ideal for printing of small parts where high-performance applications and print speed are critical. The introduction of the XM200S is another example of how Xact Metal continues to combine the requirements of metal powder-bed fusion and breakthrough technology to establish a new level of price and performance for additive manufacturing.”

Commenting on the XM200S Metal 3D printer, CTO Matt Woods said, “The XM200S uses state-of-the art technology. Precision digital optical systems provide active thermal drift compensation which eliminates warm-up times and minimizes long-term drift during printing operations. The 24-bit command resolution gives industry leading positional accuracy.”

He proudly added, “In addition, the patent-pending recoater uses a unique “bulb” shape element to spread powder like a blade, yet provides compaction similar to a rolling element, and the compliant design allows the recoater to negotiate out-of-plane growth and continue printing.”

With other basic features like an interactive touch screen and strong after-sales support, the Xact Metal team aims to make a mark with its two machines in the competitive metal 3D printers market.

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