Precision manufacturing company 3DX Industries prides itself on its versatility. The company, which specializes in metal 3D printing, manufactures everything from industrial parts to jewelry using an M-Flex 3D metal printer from ExOne. 3DX, which services a number of industries including agriculture, tool and die, energy, and oil and gas, began 3D printing plastic about eight years ago, and began integrating metal printing into its capabilities about three years ago. Currently their metal printer has the capability to print in stainless steel, bronze, tungsten and glass, and they assure their customers that they are currently researching and developing new materials to print with. This week they announced that they will offering two new metal powders which promise to deliver stronger, more long-lasting results than other metals.
Steel company NanoSteel is an even more recent convert to 3D printing, with their first additive manufacturing steel powder hitting the market just over a year ago. In September, we wrote about their continuing foray into 3D printing with the release of two proprietary metal powders, BLDRmetal J-10 and BLDRmetal J-11. At the time of the new powders’ release, 3DX Industries worked with NanoSteel to demonstrate the capabilities of the material, printing a security tool used by a global avionics company for removing and replacing aircraft panels. The tool, made with J-10, lasted five times longer than tools made with the avionics company’s previous methods. Now 3DX Industries will be offering BLDRmetal J-10 and BLDRmetal J-11 for binder jet printing, along with their other metal materials.
BLDRmetal J-10, a stainless steel powder infiltrated with bronze, is designed specifically to stand up to abrasive environments. Parts made with J-10 should have approximately twice the elongation and three times the wear resistance and impact toughness of parts made with a traditional 420 stainless steel. BLDRmetal J-11 is essentially J-10 on steroids, capable, in low-impact applications, of producing parts with ten times the wear resistance of parts made with 420 stainless steel.
“Offering this line of BLDRmetal powders brings the advantage of much greater durability in our printed components to our customer base,” said Roger Janssen, President and CEO of 3DX Industries. “Witnessing the performance of these proprietary powders in both testing as well as real-world applications with our clients demonstrates the value of these improved properties. Critical working parts like pumps, impellers, rotors and turbines can all significantly benefit from these materials.”
The addition of BLDR J-10 and J-11 is indicative of 3DX Industries’ larger goal to expand its additive manufacturing capabilities. In the future, they intend to add more 3D printers to their production line and to begin phasing out some of their older manufacturing equipment. Meanwhile, NanoSteel is just getting started. BLDR J-1o and J-11 were introduced as only the first two of the company’s BLDR powders, and they intend to create more that will be designed for different types of 3D metal printing applications.
What are your thoughts on this new material? Let us know in the Nanosteel forum thread on 3DPB.com.