Markforged, a company specialized in industrial 3D printing solutions, has launched copper as a consumable for the Metal X 3D printer, to complement the others already in use (stainless steel, tool steel, inconel).
The American company is the first to make the element available on a large scale, by opening unprecedented application scenarios. Copper is a metal that has always been known and used for its high thermal and electrical conductivity properties. The production applications are widespread in various sectors: automotive (welding), industrial electronics (components) and manufacturing in general (thermal and / or electrical transfer); but its demanding processing due to the typical softness, which requires delicate processes with high manual skills, therefore long and expensive as well as scarcely repeatable. On the other hand, the use in 3D printing has so far been very limited, due to the compromises of composition and process inherent in the proposals so far available.
Being able to finally have the high quality material therefore opens up great and unprecedented opportunities for additive manufacturing: same resistance (in tests the 3D printed shanks even exceeded the welding specifications compared to those by traditional methods), greater repeatability, production costs minor (6x), greater timing (12x); in this way it will be possible to optimize the projects to have better products from the thermal and electrical point of view (rapid prototyping, power density and electrical transfer, geometric freedom). The material distributed in Italy by CMF Marelli.