The ExOne Company (NASDAQ: XONE) (“ExOne”), a global provider of 3D printing machines and printed products to industrial customers, announced that its research and development department, the ExOne Material Applications Laboratory (“ExMAL”), has qualified Inconel® alloy 625, a nickel-based alloy. This introduction represents ExOne’s first single metal alloy for 3D printing industrial applications at more than 99% density, using its binder jetting technology.
Inconel® alloy 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace, chemical and energy markets, with applications including gas turbine blades, filtration and separation, heat exchanger and molding processes. The metal is desirable due to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities, able to retain its strength even when subjected to extreme environments such as high pressure or wide temperature ranges. Inconel® alloy 625 has been qualified for use on ExOne’s M-Flex and X1-Lab 3D printing machines. The Company expects to commercialize Inconel® alloy 625 around June 1, 2014.
Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer, commented, “Our qualification of the more than 99% dense Inconel® alloy 625 further validates ExOne’s binder jetting technology as a cost-effective 3D printing industrial solution. Our machines provide higher volumetric output per unit of time compared with other metal 3D printing technologies, and greater flexibility for simultaneously printing multiple production parts. We believe that the ability to directly print highly dense metal components increases our competitive edge with both subtractive manufacturers and other metal 3D printing technologies.”
The Company’s ExMAL group continues to partner with customers in researching a variety of printing materials. This is part of its ongoing quest to increase ExOne’s portfolio of qualified metals to address a broader opportunity set of applications. ExMAL is in various development stages with several metals, including titanium, which has produced excellent results in preliminary testing and printing research. New materials combined with new product designs tailored to 3D printing will create disruptive market opportunities for customers and also expand the addressable market. In accordance with its strategy, the Company continues to be in varying stages of qualifying additional industrial materials approximately every six months.