Markforged, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, has added Inconel 625 to the range of materials suitable for use with its Metal X Additive Manufacturing system. The alloy is highly resistant to corrosion and high temperatures, and is commonly used for applications in harsh environments, such as those seen in the chemical processing, offshore, and aerospace industries.
“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 mould 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.”
Nieka Systems, a manufacturer of sample preparation equipment for the mining and cement production industries, reports that it is using Inconel 625 processed on the Metal X system in its automated equipment, which converts ore or cement samples to glass discs.
Using the Metal X, it has additively manufactured Inconel crucible clips to hold samples in place while rapidly and repeatedly cycling between high and low temperatures, and stated that it can now build the same batch of parts in-house at 10 x cheaper and at shorter lead times instead of waiting four weeks for additively manufactured parts to be delivered from a third-party supplier.
“Investing in the Markforged Metal X system to print with Inconel in-house was a no brainer,” commented 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 ten parts on Monday, we’ll be able to use them a few days later.”
Inconel 625 joins a number of materials already available for processing with the Metal X system, including 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, H13 Tool Steel, A2 Tool Steel, and D2 Tool Steel.