Meet H13 tool steel, first material of many for Markforged Metal X 3D printing system
In order to achieve its goal to change the way things are made, Markforged adds to the Metal X 3D printing system the H13 tool steel.
The H13 tool steel allows the production of high-strength parts such as metal forming tools, dies and punches, and hardened inserts for fixtures. Capable to withstand high temperatures, customers can rely on this material because it provides red hardness, resistance to thermal fatigue, high toughness, ductility, good abrasion resistance, and excellent through-hardenability.
Furthermore, the H13 tool plays a key role in the manufacturing of parts that require complex geometries at the design level. The manufacturer explained that “printing an H13 injection mold that features conformal cooling channels would more effectively move heat away from the mold cavity and provide more uniform cooling, leading to less part-warp, shorter cycle times and higher throughput, and ultimately, lower operational costs.”
A few customers such as Grant Engineering have already been convinced by the capacities of this material. Injection moulding represents the core business of the company and according to Randy Grant, the co-founder and co-owner, much like the robots and automation they’ve already introduced into their workflow, they see 3D printing – especially the Metal X – as a way to keep them hyper-competitive on cost and turnaround time while still delivering the precision and quality they’re known for. Being able to 3D print H13 should enable a lot of innovation with injection molding, and they can’t wait for it to happen.
This material is maybe the first but the Boston-based company does not intend to stop there. For now, the material is already available on pre-order in Germany and Japan at 229.99 USD per 1kg spool, respectively under the name EN 1.2344 and SKD6. Shipments will be made no later than March 2019.
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