ExOne have announced that 15 new metal, ceramic and composite materials have been qualified for 3D printing

The ExOne Company, a global leader in industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology, has announced that 15 new metal, ceramic and composite materials have been qualified by ExOne and its customers for 3D printing on the company’s family of metal 3D printers.

ExOne metal 3D printers now binder jet 21 materials: 10 single alloy metals, six ceramics and five composites. More than 24 additional powders have been qualified for 3D printing in controlled research and development environments, including aluminium and Inconel 718.

ExOne’s exclusive binder jetting technology, in development since 1996, transforms powdered materials into dense and functional precision parts at high speeds. Binder jetting is a method of 3D printing in which an industrial print head deposits a liquid binder onto a thin layer of powdered particles, layer by layer, until the object is formed.

“ExOne continues to make aggressive and outstanding progress in qualifying new materials for 3D printing on our machines,” said ExOne CEO John Hartner.

“Qualifying a new material for binder jet 3D printing is complex work that involves optimising how materials, machines and processes work together. We would like to thank our customers and partners for their assistance in accelerating this important work, which is enabling more sustainable manufacturing and part designs.”

Partners that have assisted ExOne in qualifying materials include Global Tungsten & Powders, H.C. Starck Solutions, NASA, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SGL Carbon, the US Army, the US Department of Energy, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Virginia Tech. In all, ExOne customers are now 3D printing more than a dozen different materials for R&D, prototypes and production, including proprietary materials.

Binder jet 3D printing is a sustainable method of metal part production because it fabricates objects with little to no waste and, at the same time, enables all-new lightweight designs that were not previously manufacturable.

What’s more, binder jetting can produce parts at high speeds and volumes that can enable widespread use of this sustainable technology.

Fast-tracking aluminium
ExOne believes the ability to 3D print some materials at high speeds, such as aluminium, will have a transformative, sustainable effect on the automobile and aerospace industry.

“While our teams can binder jet aluminium in controlled R&D environments today, we believe that optimising this material for high-speed 3D printing will eventually transform how car and airplane parts are made, making them smarter and lighter weight,” said Rick Lucas, Chief Technology Officer at ExOne.

“Based on high demand from the marketplace, we have fast-tracked development of this material for use on our machines.”

To accelerate this work, ExOne is also collaborating with a number of manufacturing companies to optimise commercial 3D printing of aluminium.