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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.
We take quality control very seriously, which is why we are audited for ISO9001:2015 certification, this helps ensure we provide great customer service.
3D printers have been in use in the manufacturing industry for more than thirty years, but it is only really in the last ten that the market has opened itself up to other applications on a large scale, such as mould making for investment casting and tooling. Applications are also emerging for the medical and dental fields.
All of which is to say, 3D printing is no longer constrained by manufacturing limitations or design complexity; and as a result, it is seeing incredible growth.
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Using Markforged's new ADAM technology, the Metal X makes metal 3D printing more accessible than ever before.
To determine how much money your organisation could save with the Metal X, contact our team about a cost benefit analysis.
Please note: You may see the Metal X being advertised elsewhere with a laser inspection tool. This is incorrect, although originally advertised by Markforged when first announced, the Metal X doesn't include the laser inspection tool.
From the company that revolutionised carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass 3D printing comes a new breakthrough in metal 3D printing. The Metal X is a metal 3D printer that utilises a process called ADAM (Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing) to print parts. This process uses metal powder and bulk sintering to create true-to-design solid metal parts, that can be made from a wide range of metals including Titanium 6-4 and 17-4 stainless steel.
The Metal X - The Ultimate Metal 3D Printer
The Metal X has a build volume of 300 mm x 220 mm x 180 mm (WDH) with an enclosed build chamber. It can print down to a layer height of 50-microns, and the user can make use of honeycomb infills and other geometries which would be impossible with subtractive and traditional manufacturing processes.
Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing
3D printing metal parts has never been simpler than with the Metal X. Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing prints your part using a bound metal powder surrounded by plastic. The plastic is then dissolved, and the metal powder sintered. The resulting parts are solid metal, with the same strength and durability as metal parts that have been cast.
The Metal X can 3D print several metals, including: 17-4 Stainless Steel, H-13 Tool Steel, 6061 Aluminum (Beta), 7075 Aluminum (Beta), A-2 Tool Steel (Beta), D-2 Tool Steel (Beta), Copper (Beta), IN Alloy (Inconel) 625 (Beta) and Titanium Ti-6Al-4V (Beta). The metals with beta next to them are currently in the last stages of testing, and will be approved for customers soon.
What People Say
“Not only is the material used with the Metal X meant to be safe to handle, but the ADAM process offers design and production advantages that powder bed processes don’t have.”
– Michael Molitch-Hou
“If you can afford a half million to million dollar metal printer, buy one. For the rest of the world, this is for you”
–Greg Mark, Markforged CEO
The best 3D printers fabricate models and parts that are true to design. In other words, models and parts that are a perfect physical representation of the digital model drawn in CAD. To achieve this high degree of dimensional accuracy, printers must produce a very fine edge across the build area. This is how we perceive parts to be high quality or not when we look at them and inspect them.
Of course, multiple variables determine how fine that edge is, and you cannot always rely on the quantitative values manufacturers place on their 3D printers. If we did, every printer on the market would be pinpoint accurate.
When you are shopping for your next printer, consider this: accuracy is the value that determines how close a 3D printed part is to its digital drawing. Precision refers to the repeatability experience of a printer, or how reliable the printing experience is. If you want a consistently good 3D printing experience, you need both.
The two most common 3D printer technologies are FFF and SLA.
The most common technology is fused filament fabrication (FFF), also known as fused deposition modelling (FDM). Both technologies are in fact one in the same.
These 3D printers are the lowest cost. They melt a plastic and extrude it layer-by-layer to build up models from nothing. This process is traditionally best suited to low-cost prototyping, but advancements in technology mean this is no longer the case. There’re more variables that can affect the quality of a print with FFF than SLA, but solutions like an enclosed build chamber and heated build plate reduce this.
SLA (stereolithography) 3D printers use a laser to cure resin (liquid plastic) onto the build platform in desired areas.
Unlike with an FFF 3D printed part, parts printed by an SLA 3D printer need to be post-processed with UV light. This cures the resin, causing it to solidify and reach the mechanical properties required for the application. The method of production is cure, peel, raise, with the laser curing the resin layer by layer; the peel mechanism lifting each new layer off the surface; and the raising action allowing new resin to flow under the build platform.
3D printers are available in all shapes and sizes to suit any project, but there are two common classes: desktop, and large-format.
Desktop printers do exactly what they say on the tin - they fit on a desktop (or most workspaces) and take up around the same footprint as a large LaserJet printer. Large-format printers are four or five times bigger, enabling you to manufacture models and parts like car bumpers and snowboards in one go.
You’ll find the bigger you go, the rarer photopolymer technologies like SLA and DLP (digital light processing) become. This is because they get very expensive as you scale up. Most large-format 3D printers are of the FFF variety because the technology is cheaper and easier to produce on a large, industrial scale.