Jun 29, 2017 | By Benedict

Xact Metal, a 3D printing company located in State College, Pennsylvania, has launched its first 3D printer. The XM200 is an industrial-level, laser-based metal 3D printer, and is priced at $120,000.

Having only been established earlier this year, Xact Metal might be one of the youngest 3D printing startups on the block. But don’t let its age fool you: the Pennsylvania company isn’t hunting for cash through crowdfunding campaigns or tentatively going through R&D. In fact, it’s already released an industrial-grade 3D printer.

The XM200 was launched on May 4 as part of the Xact’s mission to make “metal additive manufacturing systems affordable for small to midsized companies, research labs, and universities.” It won’t be delivered to customers until September, but the new 3D printer is ready to go.

“Priced at $120,000, the XM200 is our first industrial 3D printer, offering outstanding performance and affordability,” said Juan Mario Gomez, CEO of Xact Metal. “We believe it will be make a big impact on customers’ Additive Manufacturing needs.”

So just how did a fresh-faced additive manufacturing business put out a 3D printer—a laser-based metal 3D printer no less—in such a short space of time?

Well, the team behind Xact Metal aren’t exactly newbies: Gomez, formerly of GE, claims “25 years of business experience” in tech-related areas, while chief technical officer Matt Woods has worked at both SpaceX and Penn State’s CIMP-3D, an additive manufacturing research facility. Tim Simpson, an advisor for Xact Metal, is a Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at Penn State University.

Qualifications of team members aside, the sudden appearance of the XM200 is still something of a surprise, though the company's funding is publicly accounted for. Xact says it received financial support from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, as well as what Gomez described as “almost infinite resources and support” from Penn State. Both of these backers will have played an important part in the rapid development and launch of the metal 3D printer.

That’s enough on why the 3D printer exists, so let’s look a bit closer at what it actually is. According to Xact, the XM200 has a large build volume of 127 x 127 x 125 mm, a 250W fiber laser, and a patent-pending high-speed scanner which fuses at speeds up to 1.5 m/s. Its laser beam is “constantly orthogonal across the entire powder bed surface,” which enables it to produce “consistent fusing characteristics throughout the complete build area.” Impressive.

“The XM200 is designed with the needs of customers in mind,” Woods explained. “The large build volume gives great flexibility to print a variety of parts. The system is highly accessible and easy to use and its modern software architecture is streamlined, intuitive and supportive of visual workflows. And with a compact footprint, the XM200 allows customers to put one or several systems in their work areas.”

Excitingly, Xact is already taking the XM200 on the road for demonstrations. Having showcased the metal 3D printer at RAPID + TCT last month, Gomez and co. will later take the machine to the Additive Manufacturing Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee (October 10-12), before moving on to Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany (November 14-17), and then the Defense Manufacturing Conference in Tampa, Florida (December 4-7).

Xact Metal is currently taking orders for the XM200, and expects to begin shipping the 3D printers this September.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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