6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc. known for the sustainable production of materials for 3D printing and metal alloys, has signed a letter of intent for a strategic partnership with Metal Powder Works (MPW), a leader in solid-state powder production, at the Formnext conference. The aim is to produce pure copper and copper alloys as well as strategically important powders such as copper/nickel and bronze alloy powders for the additive manufacturing process.
The partnership highlights the economic benefits that can be achieved through the high yield of MPW’s DirectPowder technology and 6K Additive’s UniMelt microwave plasma technology. These processes not only enable faster market access, but also sustainable production both in the creation of starting materials and in the manufacture of the materials themselves.
“The market for copper is eager for a scalable solution that can not only deliver high-quality material, but one that can bring simplicity to the supply chain with a very sustainable process,” said Frank Roberts, President of 6K Additive. “The synergies between our two organizations ensure customers can source their material sustainably, reliably, and with the quality that meets their stringent specifications.”
Metal Powder Works CEO and Founder John Barnes added, “This partnership is a win for both 6K Additive and Metal Powder Works, but most importantly for our customers who are looking to utilize copper for a variety of applications such as heat sinks, battery components, particularly for the rapidly growing EV market, and critical parts for the marine industry. This alliance with 6K Additive opens up MPW’s technology to provide more materials to the AM market.”
MPW’s DirectPowder technology enables the production of powders tailored to the manufacturing process with a patented technology that provides consistent powder size and shape. Their current powder portfolio includes high strength aluminum and high conductivity copper powders, and new alloys are actively being developed through the newly launched MPW Developer Network.
6K Additive is recognized as the world’s first producer of sustainably sourced AM powders, offering a full range of premium powders including nickel, titanium, copper, stainless steel, aluminum alloys and refractory metals such as tungsten, niobium and rhenium. The company’s proprietary UniMelt system is the only microwave plasma production system in the world, offering a uniform and precise plasma zone, zero contamination and high throughput capacities.
This collaboration heralds an era of optimized, environmentally conscious manufacturing in the 3D printing industry by combining sustainable production with the technical requirements of the industry.