ExOne to Collaborate with Global Tungsten & Powders to Advance Tungsten Metal 3D Printing

Development collaboration to focus on cemented carbide, used in cutting tools and wear-resistant parts, and tungsten-copper, used in high-voltage electrical applications.

Development collaboration to focus on cemented carbide, used in cutting tools and wear-resistant parts, and tungsten-copper, used in high-voltage electrical applications.

Image courtesy of Business Wire.


The ExOne Company and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. have entered into a collaboration to advance tungsten-based metal 3D printing using binder jetting.

The new ExOne-GTP collaboration focuses on the development of two metal matrix composites: cemented carbide (WC-Co), a material with high hardness and toughness that is used for the production of cutting tools and wear-resistant parts; and copper-tungsten (CuW), which is used in applications where high heat resistance, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion are needed.

“Binder jetting is the 3D printing method of choice for serial production of hard metal parts,” says Deborah West, vice-president Business Unit Refractory & Specialty Powders, GTP. “Traditionally, tungsten carbide powder is pressed into the desired shape and then sintered to give it strength and density. Instead of costly and timely mold construction, the parts now can be printed directly in the desired shape, still using sintering technology to achieve the final strength.”

“Metal 3D printing using our exclusive approach to binder jetting has exciting and significant consequences for a variety of manufacturers, including those who make parts with cemented carbide and other tungsten composites,” says Tim Pierce, ExOne vice president of Metal Commercial Products. “Our latest development collaboration with GTP will help advance the materials necessary to deliver on the vision of producing these parts faster, with less waste and more geometric design freedom.”

GTP will now offer a 3D printing and sintering service for cemented carbide parts. GTP uses an ExOne Innovent, an advanced binder jetting system that 3D prints metal, ceramic and composite powders in a compact build area, according to the company. It reportedly offers an advanced form of binder jetting, developed over 20 years, which includes methods of dispensing, spreading and compacting powders to deliver density and repeatability in final products.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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