3D Software

ExOne launches online calculator for metal 3D printing cost estimation

Binder jetting 3D printer manufacturer ExOne has unveiled a new online calculator tool for manufacturers to compare the cost of binder jet 3D printing with other forms of conventional and additive manufacturing.

Now live, the ExOne Production Metal Cost Calculator provides companies with a per-part estimate for binder jetting a precision metal part, and is based on the purchase of any of ExOne’s Pro series of printers.

“As customers compare new binder jetting options in the marketplace, we wanted to provide a greater transparency into the affordable costs of binder jetting with ExOne technology,” said John Hartner, ExOne CEO. “Our new estimating tool takes a comprehensive range of costs into account, such as initial capital investment, throughput speeds, material, binder, replacement printheads, and more.

“Our team is confident that our high-speed systems offer the best value in terms of build area, throughput, consumable costs, material flexibility, and experience.”

ExOne’s binder jetting technology

ExOne earned the exclusive license for the metal binder jet 3D printing technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996, in which a binder is rapidly jetted into a bed of metal, sand, or ceramic powder particles in order to create a solid part one layer at a time. When printing metals, the final part is then sintered to fuse the particles together to form a solid object.

Now, ExOne’s systems are installed in customer facilities located in more than twenty countries across the globe. ExOne revealed its X1 25 PRO 3D printing system at Formnext 2018 which launched the following year, equipped with a larger build volume and the same powder metallurgy capabilities as ExOne’s INNOVENT+ system, and designed with a focus on Metal Injection Molding (MIM) market applications. The printer offers a maximum build rate of 3,600 cc/hour and is being used around the world by multiple manufacturers.

Towards the end of 2019, ExOne launched its extra-large metal 3D printer, the X1 160 PRO, which was designed for high volume, large-scale production of end-use parts. The system is currently in production at ExOne’s German facility and will be shipping to customers soon. The system boasts a maximum print speed of up to 10,000 cc/hour, and according to ExOne market demand for the 160 PRO has been stronger than expected.

The most recent printing system launch from the firm came in the form of its InnoventPro metal 3D printer – an updated version of the Innovent+ – which is due to enter the market later this year equipped with a 3-liter or 5-liter build volume.

ExOne’s family of Pro series printers is qualified to print more than 20 materials, and is part of the firm’s production-ready line-up that will support the Production Metal Cost Calculator.

The InnoventPro (left) is an advanced entry-level metal 3d printer that rounds out ExOne’s full family of production metal binder jetting systems, which includes the X1 25Pro (center), the X1 160Pro (far right), and the X1D1 automated guided vehicle for automated, Industry 4.0 transport. Image via ExOne.
The InnoventPro (left) is an advanced entry-level metal 3d printer that rounds out ExOne’s full family of production metal binder jetting systems, which includes the X1 25Pro (center), the X1 160Pro (far right), and the X1D1 automated guided vehicle for automated, Industry 4.0 transport. Image via ExOne.

Calculating binder jetting cost

ExOne’s new online estimating tool requires several inputs to be entered, such as the material to be printed with, the machine, part dimensions, and volume, before calculating a per-part cost estimate based on the purchase of any one of the firm’s four Pro series printers. The tool takes a range of costs into account, including the initial investment in addition to the cost of materials, binders, and replacements printheads, among other factors. 

The cost calculator enables manufacturers who are considering moving their production of metal parts to binder jet 3D printing to compare the technology to other forms of traditional and additive manufacturing. The calculator is now live on ExOne’s website.

The ExOne Production Metal Cost Calculator. Image via ExOne.
The ExOne Production Metal Cost Calculator. Image via ExOne.

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Featured image shows the ExOne Production Metal Cost Calculator. Image via ExOne.

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