NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The ExOne Company (Nasdaq:XONE) today announced that the production version of the X1 25PRO metal 3D printer, which begins shipping to customers this quarter, will make its global debut at Formnext 2019.
The new binder jetting system can be viewed in Hall 12.0, Booth C21, at Formnext — the world’s leading additive manufacturing event, which runs from today through Friday, Nov. 22, in Frankfurt, Germany. The concept version of the X1 25PRO was first shown six months ago at the RAPID + TCT event in Detroit and has undergone several design revisions based on customer feedback.
“The team at ExOne is moving faster than ever to bring our production metal 3D printing solutions to market,” said John Hartner, ExOne CEO. “That’s because we are truly excited to see customers take advantage of the incredible progress we have made with our binder jetting technology. We encourage manufacturers to take a new look at what our systems can do today versus just a few years ago. Our sustainable manufacturing systems deliver density and dimensional accuracy that meets or exceeds production requirements for many industries.”
With build dimensions of 400 x 250 x 250 mm (15.75 x 9.84 x 9.84 in), the X1 25PRO is large enough to accommodate production of most metal parts manufactured today. The new system is now positioned as the mid-sized model within ExOne’s growing family of metal 3D printers, which are also capable of 3D printing ceramics.
ExOne’s entry-level Innovent+® printer is used globally for research, design and small part production. The recently announced X1 160PRO™ binder jetting machine, with build dimensions of 800 x 500 x 400 mm (31.5 x 19.7 x 15.8 in), is built for extra-large production and is slated to ship in late 2020.
High-Quality Metal 3D Printing
The X1 25PRO is capable of binder jetting a variety of metal, ceramic and composite fine powders — primarily because of ExOne’s exclusive and patented Triple Advanced Compaction Technology (ACT), which is critical to delivering consistent part density and repeatability across the entire build area.
To date, the X1 25PRO can print more than six metal materials that have passed ExOne’s strict qualification process, including 316L, 304L and 17-4PH stainless steels. However, it is also capable of printing a variety of other beta materials that are on a fast-track to qualification, including Inconel 718 and 625 and more. To earn qualification, a metal must deliver repeatable, desirable performance in both 3D printing and sintering.
Binder jetting is a mature method of 3D printing in which an inkjet head prints a binding fluid onto a fine layer of powder, building a part, one layer at a time. ExOne’s Triple ACT tackles one of the biggest challenges of binder jetting metal powders to perfection: dispensing, spreading and uniformly compacting ultra-fine powders with an average particle size, or D50, of 9 microns. These powders’ cohesiveness makes them prone to caking and difficult to dispense. ExOne’s technology overcomes this challenge. Learn more at www.exone.com/tripleACT.
ExOne has extensive experience in metal binder jet 3D printing. The Company launched the world’s first commercial metal binder jet system, the RTS-300, in 1998, followed by a new metal printer every few years. About half of the Company’s binder jet printer systems installed worldwide are metal 3D printers. Additionally, the Company has operated a metal binder jetting production facility at its headquarters outside of Pittsburgh for more than a decade, delivering more than 500,000 parts annually.
3D Printed Body Panels
The new X1 25PRO features 18 body panels that were vacuum formed over unique 3D printed tooling created with ExOne technology.
First, the tooling was 3D printed in sand on an ExOne S-Max® 3D printer at Humtown Products in Ohio. The tools were then shipped to Catalysis Additive Tooling, also based in Ohio, where they were treated with a proprietary coating that enables the sand parts to be transformed into reusable tooling. From there, the tools were shipped to a vacuum forming facility.
The first body panels created for the concept X1 25PRO shown at RAPID + TCT had a design-to-finish time of just six weeks. For the final production version, several design modifications were made and tooling to produce the final skins was complete within four weeks.
“Steel tooling would have been ten times more expensive and taken six months to a year to produce,” said Rick Lucas, ExOne CTO. “By using our own 3D printing technology with our partners, we were able to manufacture new parts, and redesigned parts, quickly. Vacuum-formed tooling is just one way the ExOne team is delivering unique 3D printed tooling solutions that deliver rapid, high quality results.”
ExOne is a global provider of 3D printing machines, 3D printed products, materials and services to industrial customers. ExOne's business primarily consists of manufacturing and selling 3D printing machines and printing products to specification for its customers using its installed base of 3D printing machines. ExOne’s machines serve direct and indirect applications. Direct printing produces a component; indirect printing makes a tool to produce a component. ExOne offers pre-production collaboration and print products for customers through its network of ExOne Adoption Centers (“EACs”). ExOne also supplies the associated materials, including consumables and replacement parts, and other services, including training and technical support that is necessary for purchasers of its 3D printing machines to print products. The Company believes that its ability to print in a variety of industrial materials, as well as its industry-leading volumetric output (as measured by build box size and printing speed) uniquely position ExOne to serve the needs of industrial customers. Visit www.exone.com for more information.