Markforged has announced the availability of a new metal material for its Metal X system: Inconel 625. Designed for easy printing, the material offers excellent corrosion and high temperature resistance and is ideal for applications in harsh environments, such as in the chemical processing, offshore and aerospace industries.
According to Markforged, the metal 3D printing material offers users an affordable and safe way to print parts from Inconel, which is a notoriously challenging material to work with.
“Inconel is traditionally a difficult and expensive material to work with,” explained Jon Reilly, VP of Product at Markforged. “Before Markforged, many would have to wait for a contract supplier, invest significantly in mold creation, or purchase a powder-based process that requires intensive facility build-outs and highly trained technicians. Now manufacturing Inconel is fast, safe, and affordable.”
The new 3D printing metal is already in use at Nieka Systems, a company that manufactures sample preparation equipment for the mining and cement industries. A team at Nieka is using 3D printable Inconel 625 in its automated equipment that converts ore or cement samples into glass discs. Specifically, the company is using the material to produce crucible clips that hold the samples in place while the machine rapidly cycles between high and low temperatures.
With Inconel 625 and Markforged’s Metal X system in house, Nieka has seen a number of improvements to its workflow, including 10x cheaper production compared to ordering the 3D printed parts from external suppliers and much faster turnaround times (just a few days compared to four weeks).
“Investing in the Markforged Metal X system to print with Inconel in-house was a no brainer,” said Louis Croisetiere, PhD, Founder of Nieka Systems. “For production needs alone, the time, effort, and cost savings were unbelievable. The metal finish is stunning, and it’s easy to upload the part, get the print running, and if we print five or 10 parts on Monday, we’ll be able to use them a few days later.”
Growing metal portfolio
Markforged’s Inconel 625 is the latest addition to its growing portfolio of metal materials for its Metal X platform. Other metals it offers include 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, H13 Tool Steel, A2 Tool Steel and D2 Tool Steel.
Now available for order, Inconel 625 broadens the scope of applications suitable for the Metal X 3D printer. As mentioned, its corrosion-resistant properties make it ideal for harsh, demanding environments, such as those in the aerospace, offshore and chemical processing sectors.
With the ability to print Inconel parts in house, manufacturers can benefit from more rapid turnaround times and lower costs. The material, which is also challenging to machine, can be printed into complex structures and parts, unlocking wholly new uses for the metal.