Markforged Launches H13 Tool Steel for Metal X 3D Printer

Markforged has launched H13 tool steel to be used in its Metal X 3D printer, offering manufacturing professionals a lower-cost option for metal 3D printing.

Markforged has launched H13 tool steel for the Metal X, the company’s desktop-sized metal 3D printer. H13 is a hot-work tool steel that retains high strength at elevated temperatures, and is said to exhibit excellent red hardness, resistance to thermal fatigue, high toughness, ductility, abrasion resistance and through-hardenability.

H13 enables 3D printing of parts with unique and complex geometries, something that traditionally would be very expensive and difficult to do, the company says. The tool steel is said to enable customers to print parts in high-strength, high-temperature applications such as metal-forming tools, dies and punches, hardened inserts for fixtures and even injection molds with conformal cooling channels. An H13 injection mold with conformal cooling channels would effectively move heat away from the mold cavity and provide uniform cooling, leading to less part-warp, shorter cycle times and higher throughput, and ultimately, lower operational costs.

H13 tool steel—also known as EN 1.2344 and SKD61 in Germany and Japan, respectively—is just the first of several future materials planned for the Metal X, including A2 and D2 tool steel, stainless steel 316L, Inconel and titanium.