Largest ExOne Metal Binder Jetting System Yet Provides 160-Liter Build Volume
The design of this machine anticipates scale production, with compaction technology for repeatable part density and Industry 4.0 connectivity for lightly staffed AM factories.
ExOne has announced the release of its new X1 160Pro
According to ExOne CEO John Hartner, the machine answers a need from customers to bring the design freedom of additive manufacturing to larger parts. However, just as importantly, the machine is a response to the advance of AM into larger production volumes. The larger build volume increases the batch quantity of smaller parts than can be produced in a single build.
Binder jetting is being accepted as “the serial production solution,” Hartner says. Among other things, the increase in suppliers of binder jetting machines illustrates this. Serial production is the application ExOne has always seen for the technology, he says, though developing systems
Binder jetting is 3D printing in which a binding fluid bonds powder, layer by layer. The resulting part is then sintered to final hardness. No melting is involved. In production, one of binder jetting’s advantages over other metal AM systems is speed. The binder fluid head offers jets moving in parallel, as contrasted with a laser having to move in a back-and-forth “raster” pattern over the same area. ExOne’s new X1 160Pro
Hartner notes that the solution developed for production anticipates a likely use that largely hasn’t been realized yet: unattended or lightly attended facilities full of AM machines running round the clock. The new machines provide Industry 4.0 connectivity enabled by Siemens
He notes the machine also joins a product line suitable to users who don’t yet know how far into production they might go. “With our product family now, there’s a path. A user can start with a 1-liter machine, go to 25 liters, and now go to 160 liters when production demands scale that high.”
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