Markforged has declared the unveiling of refined copper for its Metal X 3D printing machine. It will allow the manufacturing of compact copper pieces with high thermal and electrical conductivity. The release now makes the firm among the small few firms in the additive manufacturing sector that provide a copper additive manufacturing material.
Copper is the newest inclusion to Metal X element portfolio of Markforged. It now joins Inconel 625, H13 Tool Steel, 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, A2 Tool Steel, and D2 Tool Steel. The new copper element, present in filament type will be fit for a wide range of processes. This is most prominent in the automotive and electronics sectors.
“Copper powers our world. It’s everywhere. It builds our cars, enables phones and keeps electrical equipment running. Copper has traditionally been an expensive and challenging material to machine and incompatible for 3D printing in a pure form with other techniques. Now, we’ve made it easier and cheaper to produce. Markforged 3D printed Copper will be a game-changer for the automotive and electronics industries, and it will open the door to innovation across many more,” says the founder and CEO of Markforged, Greg Mark.
According to Mark, copper has been a spectacularly daring element to 3D print. For example. With the laser-associated systems, refined copper powder use has shown issues due to the reflectivity of the element.
Up to now, only a few firms have successfully additively manufactured refined copper. This includes GE Additive and Optomec. Other firms such as SLM Solutions have created copper metals that are printable and still keep the advantages of copper.
Their copper element for Metal X provides high electrical and thermal conductivity. This includes thermal conductivity higher than 350 W/mK and 84% IACS power conductivity. The element will also allow for the production to reap the attributes of copper. This is while as well showing the design liberty of 3D printing.
Ahead of its launch of the Copper additive manufacturing element, the company has collaborated with an automotive maker to carry out a deep weld experiment. After many welds, the automotive firm was allegedly excited with the outcomes. This is because the printed copper pieces showed very resistance as conventional spot welding stems.