Markforged has announced that their Metal X 3D Printers now have the ability to 3D print pure non-alloyed copper (>99.8%). Copper is a soft, malleable metal that has high thermal and electrical conductivity. Industries around the globe use copper in:
- Automotive for welding applications
- Industrial electronics for power equipment and motors
- General manufacturing for heat and electrical transfer elements
Think welding arms, heat sinks, electrical connectors, antennas, and even EDM electrodes.
So why is 3D printing copper so important? Machining copper is challenging due to its softness. Buyers of copper parts often pay high prices and suffer long lead times due to the challenges of working with copper. Brazing copper is often inconsistent. As it is mostly a manual process, variability is high, which leads to inconsistent parts and increased part change over time. In most segments of manufacturing, 3D printing, any copper is limited to an experimental space only. Why? Material choices are limited to pure copper, which requires an expensive laser-based system or use of a copper alloy with material properties reduced by as much as 50%. Check out our copper material spec sheet.
So how is printing copper on the Markforged Metal X different from other systems? Printing copper on the Markforged Metal X 3D printer means having a reliable, affordable, and safe end-to-end solution for manufacturing copper parts in-house. No more out-sourcing with quality issues. Markforged copper parts will have thermal and electrical conductivity up to 2X higher than alloyed-copper laser-based systems. And because our Metal X is a bound powder filament system, you don’t contend with loose powder or safety measures. Users can consistently create complex, tight tolerance parts and bring copper part production in-house, reducing lead time to a few days. Watch live here.