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We are the 3D printing arm of a larger company called Express Group Ltd. Fixing printers since 1988, today we are a Specialist Parts Distributor and Experts in 3D Printing.
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New for 2019, A2 Tool Steel from Markforged is a general-purpose steel for use with the Metal X. It is printed by the Metal X with plastic support material, and then sintered externally in a furnace to fuse solid. After sintering, parts have the strength and mechanical properties of solid metal in all directions.
A2 Tool Steel is a universal air hardening cold work steel well-suited to tooling. It has approximately 5% chromium content, giving it good hardness. It is easy to machine and holds an edge, making it suitable for cutting and forming, blanking tools, punches, dies, gauges and sheet metal fabrication, or indeed any application where good wear resistance as well as good toughness are required.
Parts 3D printed in A2 Tool Steel can be transformed into solid metal parts in just a few hours with a non-vacuum furnace. Parts should be heated to 970°C (1780°F) and single tempered at 200°C for at least 30 minutes. You can increase hardness and durability with air quenching and double tempering, which is optional.
As a general rule of thumb, tempering A2 Tool Steel at a lower temperature increases hardness; tempering at a higher temperature increases toughness. Follow best practice and you’ll have super-durable solid metal tools in no time.