While metal printing is highly coveted within the additive manufacturing industry, most of the focus is on large / huge devices. This is natural considering that metal prints are far more relevant to large firms and large-scale industrial production. As a result, these massive printers dominate the metal printing discussion. However, there are still many options for discerning companies who don’t want to clear out an entire parking lot for one machine.
This list goes talks about a few of the most prominent smaller metal printers on the market.
Desktop Metal Studio
The Desktop Metal Studio was an ambitious project. The idea was not just to create a modestly sized 3D printer, but also one for the workplace. This particular printer comes with a furnace and therefore can print parts that are almost ready within one hub. It uses a process called Microwave Enhanced Sintering. This printer has many unique features but is also relatively cheap considering its rich capabilities.
|Build Volume||12 in x 8 in x 8 in (305 mm x 205 mm x 205 mm)|
|Materials||Steel, Titanium, Aluminum, Copper and other undisclosed materials|
|Layer Height||50 μm (minimum)|
|Dimensions||60 in x 49 in x 30 in (1500 mm x 1250 mm x 750 mm)|
|Technology||Microwave Enhanced Sintering|
Markforged Metal X
Metal or otherwise, Markforged has revolutionised the 3D printing landscape. The Metal X is their addition to the metal printing field. The printer uses the ADAM printing method to manufacture parts with immense speed. The system allows for immense geometrical accuracy during prints. Considering the types of metals that it can use, it is most suited for aerospace, automobile and weapons manufacturing.
|Build Volume||9.8 in x 8.66 x 7.87 (250 mm x 220 mm x 200 mm)|
|Materials||Titanium, Steel, Aluminum, Inconel (nickel-chromium alloy)|
|Layer Height||50 μm|
|Dimensions||22.63 in x 18.38 x 15.37 in (575 mm x 467 mm x 1432 mm)|
|Technology||Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM)|
Shining 3D’s EP-M100T
Chinese firm Shining 3D developed the EP-M100T as a small size SLM metal printer. The company advertises the printer as ideal for education, jewellery and dental applications, although it can serve even more purposes. The EP-M100T uses a 100 to 200 Watt laser to process a very wide variety of powders into metal objects.
|Build Volume||4.72 in x 4.72 in x 3.14 in (120 mm x 120 mm x 80 mm)|
|Materials||Stainless steel, maraging steel, high temperature nickel base alloy, titanium alloy, Cobalt chromium alloy, aluminum alloy, high strength steel, copper alloy, tungsten alloy|
|Dimensions||37 in x 51.18 in x 77.95 in (940 mm × 1300 mm × 1980 mm)|
|Technology||Selective Laser Melting (SLM)|
|Price||Requires a quote from the company|
Aurora Labs S-Titanium Pro
Aurora Labs’ S-Titanium Pro metal printer, despite its name, can print a wide range of metallic powders. The most notable feature of the machine is its hybridisation of various metal printing technologies. Titanium Pro uses SLS, SLM and also DED. Due to its incorporation of 3 different laser technologies, the printer can be applied to various industries and products.
|Build Volume||7.87 in x 7.87 in x 19.68 in (200 mm ×200 mm ×500 mm)|
|Materials||Titanium, Stainless steel, Iconel, Aluminum|
|Layer Height||30μm – 200μm|
|Dimensions||24.21 in x 44.33 in x 78.74 (615mm x 1126mm x 2000mm)|
|Technology||Hybrid (SLS, SLM and DED)|
Xact Metal XM200
We recently covered Xact metal’s XM200 printer in a previous article. This particular machine uses a chamber flooded with Argon gas, powders on a conveyer belt and high power laser beam to produce objects. While this printer doesn’t have the largest build volume, it is an amazing technology with much potential.
|Build Volume||5 in x 5 in x 5 in (127 mm x 127 mm x 127 mm)|
|Materials||316L Stainless Steel, Inconel 718 Superalloy, Titanium 6Al 4V, Aluminum Si10Mg, Maraging Steel|
|Layer Height||20-100 μm|
|Dimensions||24 in x 24 in x 51 in (610 mm x 610 mm x 1295 mm)|