When it comes to 3D printing, there is nothing new about the use of metals. Companies such as The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE) have been relying on a variety of metals for many years.
While the use of some metals is nothing more than a pipe dream, there are others, such as iron and tungsten, that appear much more doable.
As reported by Ann Thryft of Design News, ExOne has added iron and bonded tungsten to the types of metal that can be used with its M-flex machines. This is a big step forward for the company, as well as the industry as a whole.
IWhy the Change for The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE)?
In an industry that is just growing, we can and should expect plenty of changes with each passing year. Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
This is where things stand right now.
One of the primary reasons for the rising demand of iron to 3D print parts is its lower cost when compared to existing stainless steel. This is exactly what the company’s CTO Rick Lucas discussed with Design News in a recent interview.
Did you know the cost of iron can be up to 25 percent less than stainless steel? This is a big surprise to many, but goes a long way in showing why it will continue to be used more often by 3D printing companies.
Lucas added, “You won’t find stainless steel in a lot of industrial applications like automotive parts, machine tools, heavy equipment, and support structures. That’s where iron is needed, for both cost and strength.”
With the many complexities of the 3D printing market, developing metals that can used is no easy task.
The development of bonded tungsten suitable for 3D printing led The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE) to contract with a design and manufacturing company, rapid prototype + manufacturing, with detailed experience in this area.
As if this is not exciting enough, ExOne is not stopping here. The company has plans for many other materials, and is currently in the development stage with many of these. From graphite to magnesium to titanium, we can expect the company to offer many more options in the years to come.
Innovation like this is just one of the many reasons why The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE) has been able to move to the top of the 3D printing industry.