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How metal droplet jetting could make metal printing viable

June 10, 2019 / The Engineer

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Denis Cormier discusses how wire feedstock can help transform metal AM and enhance the possibilities for printed electronics. Metal AM continues to become more widespread across a variety of industries, but the high price point of materials is still a limiting factor in its adoption. It can cost up to $1 million to fill a machine with enough powder to produce some of the larger aerospace parts using powder bed fusion, not to mention the health and safety concerns that result in working with tiny metal particles. Back in 2013 father and son Scott and Zach Vader viewed these limitations as an opportunity to advance metal additive manufacturing and developed an alternative process, Magnetohydrodynamic printing. Acquired by Xerox in February 2019, Vader Systems technology uses wire feedstock in lieu of powder. Gravity feeds the molten metal from a tiny crucible into a nozzle and, using the same physics that make a motor turn, it jets individual mol...