New Binder-Jetting Printer, Furnace Offered Through ExOne, Rapidia PartnershipFebruary 9, 2021
ExOne has launched the ExOne Metal Designlab binder jetting printer and X1F furnace in an exclusive partnership with Rapidia, a Vancouver, Canada-based technology company. Orders are being accepted immediately, with deliveries set to begin the second quarter of 2021. Under terms of this partnership, ExOne has a right of first refusal for majority ownership of Rapidia, and Rapidia founder Dan Gelbart becomes a technology advisor to ExOne.
The Metal Designlab evolves from Rapidia’s two-step 3D-printing technology—reportedly the first to allow water-bound metal and ceramic parts to travel directly from a printer into a furnace without a debinding step. Bound-metal-3D-printing technologies typically require either three steps (print, debind and sinter) or 3D printing followed by time-consuming thermal debinding in the sintering furnace, explain ExOne officials, noting that either method usually takes three to five days to produce a final part. This, in turn, reportedly places limitations on part thickness (to 10 mm) in order for polymer binders to be properly burned off.