The ExOne Company, a global leader in industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology, revealed the culmination of two decades of metal 3D product development with its tenth and largest metal 3D printer to date: the X1 160PRO.
Built for high throughput and large-part production, the X1 160PRO metal 3D printer offers build dimensions of 800 x 500 x 400 mm, delivering 160 liters of total build volume ̶ large enough to produce investment cast parts used in the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries.
The open material system is capable of 3D printing six qualified metals, including the popular stainless steels 316L, 304L and 17-4PH, as well as some ceramics, into dense and reliable final parts using ExOne’s exclusive Triple Advanced Compaction Technology (ACT) system.
Print speeds top 10,000 cm3/hour, depending on print material. The new system also features Industry 4.0 cloud connectivity and process-linking capabilities enabled by Siemens MindSphere.
“Our technology roadmap has been leading us to this machine for more than two decades,” said John Hartner, ExOne CEO. “At the same time, the X1 160PRO was also designed in response to growing demand from automotive, defense and aerospace customers. We’re incredibly proud of what this model means for the future of metal 3D printing and sustainable production of large metal parts without design limitations.”
The X1 160PRO joins ExOne’s growing family of metal 3D printers, which includes the Innovent+, an entry-level system used globally for research, design and small part production, and the X1 25PRO, a mid-size production 3D printer that is large enough for most metal parts manufactured today. The X1 25PRO begins shipping to customers this quarter and is slated to be shown for the first time in Europe this month at Formnext 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. The X1 160PRO is slated to ship in late 2020.
The X1 160PRO features the Triple Advanced Compaction Technology (ACT) system, which is critical to delivering consistent part density and repeatability across the entire build area when binder jet 3D printing.
Binder jetting is a method of 3D printing in which an inkjet 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: 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.