ExOne launches office-based metal AM system in Rapidia partnership

February 8, 2021

The ExOne Metal Designlab is a two-step process, where water-bound metal parts go directly from the build stage to the furnace without a debinding step (Courtesy ExOne)

The ExOne Company, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA, has announced the launch of the ExOne Metal Designlab Additive Manufacturing machine and the X1F advanced furnace in an exclusive partnership with Rapidia, a Vancouver, Canada-based technology company. Deliveries of the new office-safe metal AM machine and furnace are expected to begin in Q2, 2021.

Rapidia’s two-step AM technology, developed over several years and first revealed in 2019, sees water-bound metal and ceramic parts go directly from the build stage into a furnace, without a debinding step. The process is made possible by HydroFuse, a water-based paste containing metal or ceramic powders, which does not require debinding before final sintering.

HydroFuse paste replaces 98% of the typical binder used in similar Material Extrusion (MEX) AM processes with water, which evaporates while printing. According to ExOne, the Metal Designlab can produce 100% solid metal of any thickness, delivering maximum-strength parts suitable for a wide variety of demanding pre-production and end-use applications.

Under terms of this strategic partnership, ExOne has right of first refusal for majority ownership of Rapidia, founded by Dan Gelbart, who will also become a technology advisor to ExOne. Gelbart is an electrical engineer who co-founded companies such as Creo, Inc, a laser technology company sold in 2005 to Kodak for $1 billion, and Kardium, a medical device company. He has 135 US patents for inventions ranging from package tracking technology to atrial fibrillation treatment. His popular YouTube series on prototyping is used for instruction by several universities.

“We are delighted to partner with the visionary Dan Gelbart and the Rapidia technology team to offer the new ExOne Metal Designlab and X1F furnace,” stated John Hartner, ExOne’s CEO. “This technology is a true time-saving innovation that complements ExOne’s portfolio. Now, researchers, educators, and industrial designers will be able to bypass days of waiting and produce high-quality parts without the limitations faced by parts that require traditional debinding.”

The ExOne and Rapidia teams are reported to be collaborating on system and process enhancements, with more innovations expected. Two materials are currently offered: 17-4PH and 316L stainless steels, with other metals and ceramics to follow soon.

“We set out to develop a simple, environmentally-friendly system that creates the toughest, most intricate parts overnight,” added Gelbart. “Today, we’re excited to leverage ExOne’s global marketing and sales team to help customers around the world enjoy the benefits of our revolutionary technology. I also expect a lot of innovation to come from combining the deep technical knowledge of both companies. Now, users can 3D print complex parts today without any thickness limitations for solid parts and produce high-strength parts overnight.”

The new X1F furnace, with around 10 litres of usable volume, will also be offered across ExOne’s Binder Jet lineup, where it is seen as a complement to the Innovent+ and InnoventPro 3L or 5L printers.


In the latest issue of PIM International…

Download PDF

Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Calling all product designers: Discover what Metal Injection Moulding could do for you through these award-winning parts
  • Binder Jetting of a dual-phase steel: Process insight and optimisation using the Master Sintering Curve
  • The rise of filament-based metal AM: New materials and machines present opportunities for MIM producers
  • Sinter-based Additive Manufacturing at the 20th Plansee Seminar on Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
  • Ceramitec 2022: Opportunities abound for producers of technical ceramics by CIM and AM

The latest news from the MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM industries

Don't miss any new issue of PIM International, and stay up to date with the latest industry news. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Sign up

News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free-to-access PIM International magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


    Browse the archive


    Looking for suppliers of materials, production equipment and finished MIM, CIM or sinter-based AM parts?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PIM International.

    • Metal powders
    • MIM, CIM & AM parts producers
    • Binders & feedstocks
    • Feedstock mixers
    • Furnaces & furnace supplies
    • Atmospheres & gas generation
    • HIP systems & services
    • Injection moulding machines
    • AM technology
    • Debinding systems
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap