This year XJET wants to change how we think of producing metal parts. Usually these parts are moulded in casts and to produce these casts is an expensive process.
Some companies like Voxeljet and ExOne are specialists in producing casts with their lineup of 3D printers but XJET wants to skip this step entirely. The CEO of XJET is Hanan Gothait who founded and leaded Objet which merged with Stratasys. Objets Polyjet technology is still present in most of the 3D printers Stratasys produces just with a change in name to Multi-Jet Modeling (MJM).
Gothait now wants to revolutionise the way metal parts are produced. XJET developed a technology called NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ). NPJ uses liquid metal to place small drops on a build plate. If NPJ uses UV light just like Multi-Jet Modeling to harden the material is unknown.
In an interview with the Times of Israel Dror Danai, the CBO of XJET said:
“The layered inkjet printing technology that is used to make medical devices, dental implants, single-run samples for manufacturing, and much more is all based on plastic. In the same way that Objet helped create an industry for 3D printing using plastic materials, we intend to create an industry that will allow the same kind of custom printing for metal.”
And further stated:
“Objet’s big innovation was inkjet 3D printing, using plastic materials like PLC. At Xjet, we are developing an inkjet printing tech for liquid metal, the first time this is being done anywhere.”
One of the toughest parts for XJET to manage is the liquid state of the metal. Every different material has to be developed from ground up. But Denai is confident that XJET will get the 3D printer and their first metal, stainless steel, to the market in 2016.