Metal 3D Printing: Fast, Affordable, and Flexible with Binder Jetting from @ExOne + Shapeways
Hello, everyone. And welcome to the ExOne Metal 3D Printing webinar brought to you by Shapeways today. We have Brandon, Carrie and Steve Ward. Brandon is from Ex One, and Steve is from Shapeways, and I am Rhonda, director of marketing communications for Shapeways. I will be moderating today and taking your questions.
If you have any questions along the way, enter them into the chat with that. I'm going to turn it on over to Brandon to give a full introduction of himself and then to Steve. Hi, everybody.
Welcome to today's presentation. Hopefully everybody can see what I'm presenting here. My name is Brandon Carey.
I am the technical sales manager here at EX One. My primary focus is to support our service Bureau. I'll give a little more information on what that means to EX One, but we are primarily a Binder Jetting company and going to go ahead and start here. Okay.
I'm Steve We're, director of customer success here at Shape Ways been an additive for, like, around nine years. But I'll tell you. One of the things that I've been super excited to see is just kind of the maturity of metal 3D printing and where it's come from. So I'm just happy to be here with one of our Premier partners. Excellent to learn everything that they're doing in the metal space.
Thanks, Steve. All right. Start. So today's agenda is going to be basically to kind of walk you through what Binder Jetting is.
Binder Jetting has been around for one has been around for 26 plus years, so I'm excited to share a little bit about what we can do, also share what materials we offer through Shape Ways and what's also upcoming and exciting, a little bit of overview of our current applications and our ever growing applications. And I also want to dive into a little bit of design considerations, and that is typically pretty important to the shape of a community. So I like to be able to share why we do things that we do, what type of considerations we run through when we're reviewing parts prior to the production status, and then we'll end up with a Q and A. Okay, so overview of X One. Like I said, X One has been around since 1995. We actually used to be the vision of extrude Hone, which still exists today. They are a honing process, and we were just a small portion of the company.
Over time that business took off. We actually started off 3D printing gold. If you can imagine that. And as the price of gold increased, it didn't become as the business case wasn't there anymore. So we transitioned on into actually soda lime glass, and then eventually around the same time that we started working with Shapeways, we transitioned to stainless steel.
We are a machine manufacturing company. That's our biggest business case. We do both stainless steel machines or steel machines as well as sand.
Sand is still a big portion of our business today. But the direct metal business is aggressively growing. As Adam manufacturing metal rose in the world.
We do manufacturing high volume parts, so we do a lot of focus on oil and gas. There's a lot of focus on automotive, if you can imagine. Most of our facilities are located in Michigan.
So we do talk a lot in the industrial markets. Like I just said, automotive errors based defense. We are transitioning heavily in the medical as well.
Today always have been very successful in architecture aspect of the business as well as consumer base and jewelry based product line. And the business is always growing every single year. We see roughly 10% growth, so that's a positive inclination every year for excellent. All right.
So a little bit about the machines that are run primarily for the shape ways offering. We do both an Mflax and the 25 Pro. If you look here, they are the same exact build envelope.
The biggest difference really has just been transition and over time of the engineering aspect of the equipment. So as it grows, speed becomes ever increasingly more important. So we have transitioned from the Amplex to the 25 Pro. The Amplex typically runs horse powder, which is the infiltrated material, which we are pretty infamous for as it stands today.
And as we grow, we are moving into the single hour business that says 360 now, which we'll talk about a little bit here today as well. So real quick on this one. Do the Mflux and X 125 pro pretty much do the same thing. It's just a newer machine. Or does the Mflux still have certain things or do different things at the X 125 Pro? Can't. Yeah.
Great question. So actually, the 25 Pro does have the capability to print powder to the Amplex was not able to print when we manufacture eight years ago. So what we have done is we upgraded the machine to have what we call an act system, and it's basically just an advanced compaction system that allows you to print fine powder. So, like, the Mflux has the capability to print down the 15 Micron, but the 25 Pro has the capability to print down the five Micron powders. And as your powder size increases, it's a little bit more difficult to flow.
A lot of other 3D printing businesses will do additives to their powder to allow it to flow better. We decided as a business to not go that direction. We want to be able to pull materials right off the shelf and print them just to make the consumable product line for customers a little bit easier. All right.
Wise uses both of these offerings, and we do. Do you want to expand on that? A little? Absolutely. So as it stands today, we are primarily using the Amplex for the shade based product line. We will get into that a little bit later. What's up and coming? We do run kind of a beta level right now on the 25 Pro for 360 now, but there is some exciting upcoming news that we will transition to a larger launch.
You have another question. Will steel rust over time if exposed to water? So it depends on the product offering. If we're looking at the 420 stainless steel and bronze, it is prone to oxidation over time, depending on its environment. So if it's in a saltwater bath, it will absolutely rust over time. I do have products that's been in my office since I've been here for eight plus years, and I touch every single day that doesn't have any oxidation on it.
So it's really environmentally based. What actually helps to add an extra layer of coating? We do have these finishes and finishes, the patina and the patina. It's rough.
Right. So it does add an extra layer of protection. Okay. And one more question before we move on, how do you decide which printer each model goes to if one print is in finer detail? Great question. So the detail on the component is kind of really driven by the powder size itself and layer thickness.
So layer thickness typically on the Mflux is 100 Micron. When we look at the 316 L product offerings, layer thickness jumps down to 50 Micron, and the powder responder. So that finer layer, the finer the powder, the finer the end resolution can be.
And we will ask throughout the presentation, I'll let you move on to the next slide. Okay. All right.
So this is kind of an overview of what binder Jetting does. The biggest question we always get is where the laser? There is no laser. So we are using binder Jetting technology.
So obviously we're using a binder. If you look on the left side here, that's basically the ultrasonic dispenser and spreader and compactor. That is our recoding system. So that will go across the whole entire print bed and lay down a layer of powder, depending on what powder size it is or material it is. That's what drives the layer thickness.
And after that retracts back across the print bed, then the print head comes out. It's just like a print head you have on your HP printer at home. It's basically instead of laying out slang down layer of binder, and it's jetting out just a binder. And it is kind of a bonding agent between layer to layer. And as that part builds your plate, your build plate will lower down 100 microns at a time or whatever decision you make on material line.
And as that lowers, your part is basically nested inside that box, and it's surrounded completely by powder. So if you look down inside the box, it looks as though your box is empty. But your part is physically in there in a really weak green state.
Essentially, it's kind of like building a fan Castle inside of a box. Okay, late to MJS. I think that it's obviously a little bit different.
So we're doing kind of the stainless steel aspect and the binding aspect where I'm not super familiar with the other process, to be honest. So I'll probably have to get back to you and leave you back on that to answer that question. Yeah. So, Brandon, essentially, what's going on here if I'm looking at this, right? Almost similar to, like, an Ultimaker MakerBot like FTM at home printer. This is like laying out, like, glue, and then it's going back and kind of reinforcing that over and over at a very small micro level. That's kind of what's going on in this fighter Jetting technology.
Yeah. Absolutely. So just like you said, the print head basically is printing out an adhesive, and it's kind of tacky as Hairspray, essentially. And so that's saturating downward into the build box and attaching itself to the layer below it that just had powder laid down. So after the powder is laid down, the printer comes back out and jets down that binder again, and it basically bleeds back down to the other layer below it.
And that's essentially what's bonding everything together in the print aspect. There is also some ancillary steps after printing for binder. Jetting, I see.
And that's why powder size actually becomes so important here when getting into the little detail. Okay. That makes complete sense.
Yeah. Absolutely. So the powder drives your intensity.
It drives your material properties. It drives your layer thickness resolution, everything. It's a really key indicator for linear down the process. Okay.
No more questions on that one. Yeah. So this slide dives a little bit deeper on what happens after the printing aspect. So basically, step one, obviously, you're preparing your file, and this is where you would look at a traditional component that has 24 pieces. You can now turn into one unit.
And that consolidation is one of the key things you want to look for an agile manufacturing in any process. And buyer, Jetting, we push that a lot. We do what we call an adoption process.
We push adoption a lot. And what we really try to do through that adoption process is have a really good understanding when you go through DFAM and all these process parameters and what you can do as far as part consolidation. So then step two is print, which we just talked about in the last slide as well as build.
So what we didn't talk about what happens after print. So if you were to just basically scoop your hand through that box after print, it's just basically slush. It's just going to fall apart. It is not really strong enough to be able to handle that type of aggressive motion component. So what we do is we take it to cure. And that curing is basically catalyzing that binder and stainless steel together to give you what we call green body part.
And it's basically if you're familiar with pottery, it's as strong as I would say, a bisque fire part. If you drop it, it would break, but it still gives you the capability to pick the part up, move it around and blow and evacuate the powder. That's actually step five is where you are picking up this green body part, removing loose powder from the roundabout, and you're using both vacuuming air at the same time in order to get down to that 3D printed 60% skeletal structure, post out the powdering process.
Like I said, you're still at 50%. So obviously you want to get to your final actual metal structure that's strong enough to be whatever wants to call metal today. And what we'll do is we'll take it through a thermal operation.
Now we are talking about two different materials here. We're talking about the infiltrated and we're talking about single alloys. So that centering operation is a little variable difference based on temperature and the density you're trying to hit.
And if you're deciding to do just a single alloy material and you're highly centering or you're trying to infiltrate it with bronze, which allows you to have a little bit less shrinkage during the thermal process. There are two variable centering processes and a little bit different on the back end. So the printing aspect is the same, the curing aspects the same.
But when we transition in the center, there's kind of two offerings. Brandon, can you elaborate on the difference between the print process and the build process? Yeah. So basically, when we look at the print process, we look at it as essentially 2D. Right.
So you're looking at a single layer as the print process. The build process is when you begin to start stacking up those layer upon layer upon layer and also inside of that build process, you have the capability to change parameters during printing. You also have the capability to start being nesting parts inside of other parts and nesting parts to make an optimal build.
So it's basically a transition between 2D to 3D. Great. And does any support structures or does the bed support the part completely? Yeah. Great question. So where we differentiate from lasers, we do not require those support generations support structures during the printing process because we're not going to that high temperate print. That powder is actually acting as your support base, storing that printing process.
Now, when you do go to our centering process, depending on the size of the component and the mass of the component, sometimes you do need some formation of support. Right. So that can either be what we use as alumina grid. And that's basically alumina does the same thing the powder does in the print box and that's supporting that part during that infiltration process. When you are looking at centering and you have a lot more motion during that high centering process, you're basically going to require some printed to link. And what we'll do is we'll create tolling and the same exact material that we are using the component out of and have essentially a release agent to separate the two.
Great. Is the powder reusable? Yeah. So typically we only really use about 7% to 10% of the overall envelope is the actual physical part itself. So all that remaining powder actually is recycled back through our system. We can have powder that's in this building that's been here for 20 years.
We are obviously always stiffing and reintroducing Virgin powder back into the system to keep everything equalized. But yeah, we absolutely recycle powder, and we even recycle binders through our process as well. We have a lot of questions about the shrinkage rate between the five dimensions and the finished parts.
Could you expand on that a little? Absolutely. Let's start with the 420 material, and so that infiltration process, typically you'll see shrinkage between 1% to 3%. So what's happening during that infiltration process is if you can imagine holding bowling balls in your arm in a larger scale, what's happening is that the connection points between those bowling balls are what are centering and just those connection points only. All the empty space is basically being filled with the bronze as the bronze liquefies and Wicks into the bark like a sponge does water. So during that process you do see some thermal shrinkage.
And like I said, it's typically one to 3%. It's more of a percentage base. So as a part gets larger. Obviously, that percentage grows typically on an industrial part. We are capable of holding roughly plus or -1% and it's all dependent on kind of an iteration factor. Bond or jetting is a narrative process.
So sometimes you will have to look at the data rescale and go back to the reprint process if you want to target a better tolerance range. Great. I think that's a great answer and really helpful to understand with the shrinkage of one to 3%, would you need to compensate for that in the design? Absolutely. Through our shape or a business structure.
We don't do that scaling up front here at X one. And so you will have to kind of accommodate for that shrinkage. And what I would do is I would just plan on 1% for inch being what I would expect. And lastly, is it symmetrical when it shrinks? So there is a little bit of variation in Z because of action. Right.
So gravity does have an effect on the centering process. Let's just say X is shrinking X and Y shrink 1%. The Z may shrink 1.2%. So there is a slight variable, and when you start moving into finer powders, you start to see that a little bit more.
So what's nice about this 420 material and this infiltration process. It kind of masks that differentials in your X, Y and Z because you're not going to such high temp. You're basically braising material together at a lower thermost temperature. So that material is a little bit more achievable as far as hitting tolerance ranges after a low pass. So we have a poll question.
If you look to your right next to the chat, you'll see a poll tab. If you could answer the questions and we'll give everyone a couple of seconds to answer it before moving on. Well, I feel like Brandon, with this one, speed has got to be a big part of this right versus traditional manufacturing, because I always think of when I think of traditional manufacturing, especially with metals. I'm thinking like Game of Thrones when they're putting the metal into, like, Create the sword. Is that kind of like what that old school way of making metal stuff was? And is that really kind of why Binder Jetting is so much better from the perspective.
Yeah. If you think about the aspect of hogging out a component on a solid block, and if you think about if you look on shape Wave Marketplace, some of these organic shapes and these crazy geometries that have low, low volume on them, could you imagine trying to machine these parts with a traditional machine or a six access machine or what that cost would be at the end of the day? So all that extra material that you're hogging out of this block is essentially waste at that point where with Binder Jetting, it works in the exact opposite direction. The lower material that you use, it's a cost savings to the end customer.
So waste reduction really is a big aspect of our process. Everyone who is going to answer has answered right now. It looks like all of above is leading followed by speed.
Would you like to elaborate on that with the next one? Yeah. No one is wrong. So yeah, basically, speed is always a contributing factor to add a manufacturing, and that one really pushes that at the end of the day. And I showed that earlier and kind of the output information moving from the Amplex to 25 pro. So we went from ten years ago running 92nd layers to the day.
We're running 2030 2nd layers, and those layers are also cut in half as far as resolution size. So it's always a big push for CC output as we transition into an industrial world where 3D printing is going to be in everyone's house or everyone's business at the end of the day. So we need to be there.
I think we're all looking to be there at the end of the day. Waste reduction. Absolutely. Like, I just talked to Steve about you're not mailing these components anymore. You're not using a lot of stock material. We actually partner up with CNC operations really? Well, we talked a little bit about tolerance.
We talked a little bit about the shrinking distortion. So we are in that near shape process at the end of the day, depending on what your tolerance expectations are potentially will need to post machine. So what we're doing is we're essentially delivering an 80% complete part and the CNC shops are final machine and the remainder 20%. And we're saving them time on the machine hogging out of a solid block. And that's kind of where Adam manufacturing and specifically bonded jetting is really starting to transition into savings.
Absolutely. Like I said earlier, the less volume of material you're using, basically, material is the biggest driving factor in our process. So obviously the volume reduction goes down, your cost goes down. Design freedom is a very big one as well. Like I said earlier, you are going from a 24 piece, 24 piece mold where you're making an impeller and you're casting the upper shroud and lower shroud, and you're brazing in all the blades.
That's a time consuming process where binder can do that in a single shot, all one process. And you're also getting into the point the aspect where you can eliminate draft angles for casting. You don't have to worry about any of those types of aspects anymore. There are still limitations of energy. Don't get me wrong at the end of the day, but the design aspects are starting to get people to think a little bit outside the box and what we call blue sky thinking. And then the flexibility of binding as well is what's big for us.
It's all about what powder do you need? Let us see if we can spread it. Let us see if we can center it. And at that portion, we're just trying to prove out that we can handle all these different complex materials inside of our machine parameters.
We have a few questions on what's the approximate ratio between the stainless steel and the bronze filler. The ratio is basically high level 60% stainless, 40% bronze. Now that's probably more 55 40, because you still have some open density inside your component. And can you comment on the strength comparison between CNC stainless and Binder Jetting stainless? Yeah.
Absolutely. So we get this question a lot where we stand as far as between Rot standard block casting. We line up really well with the casting process on this 420 material. And then when you start transitioning into this 316 material with single alloy, we start bumping up to the strengths right below rot, which is really high on the level of metal strength.
Are the parts that are produced able to be load bearing? Absolutely. You basically have to feed in your material. When you're looking at your manufacturing this part through solar works, you're able to input your information about your material characteristics and data. We have all the material characteristics out there and the properties are out there. It depends on your load, it depends on the force, but we do use our material primarily.
One of our biggest components is a material that uses heavy, heavy pores. Can't talk a lot about that here, but it is a high, high wear part that we use that has used thousands and thousands of times. Great.
I'm going to let you move on. Please keep the questions coming. If we do not get to your questions, we will follow up after the webinar. All right. So this gives a little bit of information on what our output capabilities are after print. So if you look at the top left portion here, it talks about bonded bonded really is more in line with our stand printing process, where we're printing a casting or printing a mold that basically allows you to go to casting.
So our stand parts right out of print are actually there's no post process that goes directly to the Foundry. And you're capable of the pour directly inside that material. This porous portion would be if we were to print the 420 and throw it to the furnace without introducing the bronze. So what that does is it gives you a part roughly 70% to 80% then, and that has a high utilization in the filtration and then the infiltrated product. Basically, we talked a little bit about that.
That's where you're introducing a material that has a lower melting point. Primarily, we're using bronze. We also have done copper as well.
And then the highly centered is where using a single material instead of two materials and you're going to a real high furnace hemp. And you're basically centering all the way to 98% dense. Okay, Brandon, most of this makes sense. But like porous, you mentioned what was the industry that usually uses the porous that doesn't actually have the broad infiltration in it. So it's used a lot in filtration. So if you can imagine, let's just say sound dampening aspects.
Also, if you want to, if you're mining and you're trying to keep separation between different types of materials, it basically acts as a filtration material depending on how it's built. Okay. That makes complete sense. I see.
Okay. This London little bit with the previous question. Kind of where is our material land? So here's metal castings, both low pressure and gravity kind of we land within this range. Here the metal and do a little bit of layover with metal injection molding. And then we're higher than presence center typically. But like we just talked about, Steve, you're also able to get in that lower density range without introducing without introducing bronze, or if you just go to a lower temperature.
All right. Give it to there we go. We'll give everyone a couple of minutes or a couple of seconds to answer them. I know car restoration is definitely one of the things that I think is one of the coolest aspects out there, especially with all the old classic cars and everybody going towards the electric. How are we going to be able to make those parts for some of the older stuff that's out there? So I always find that fascinating. Yeah.
You see all these car restoration shows on TV now, and you wonder, you always hear them talk about they can't find this piece anymore. They can't get this piece anymore. So that is a big part of what we do.
I have a customer that's local that we do a lot of product line for. And it's everything. It's everything from 300 SL all the way up to cars you've never even heard of. So it's pretty interesting. So do you want to tell us a little about the applications for steel? Yeah, absolutely.
Jewelry. Great answer. We've always had a lot of success in that business. And Shape Wave has been the biggest driver for helping us get there. And 14 years later, we still see this business today. And so you see anything from earrings to necklaces to rings, rings are big.
And then underneath jewelry, you're going to start seeing things along the lines of branding iron, burners what we just talked about car restoration aspects. And then we start getting a little bit into towing underneath. That tolling is obviously very big. If you think outside the box of what we're capable of manufacturing and buying or jetting, you can have a very quick prototype tool that's cost effective. You can have within ten days. You don't have to wait for, quote back.
You don't have to create a two day drawing. You don't have to wait 14 months to get your totaling back. And then, oh, no. I got to make a Rev change now.
I got to wait another 14 months. So that's kind of where the business has been over the last few years. Honestly, whenever I'm asked by my marketing team what's your biggest application I'm like, why don't we just ask shape ways? They know that business base has brought us so many products that you couldn't even imagine are possible. It's things that you don't think about. It's just consumer product that someone creates a design for.
And then they create a storefront for it to become successful. And it's something new every single day. It's great to see the imaginations out there and the business opportunities out there that come through the door every single day. So keep it up. All right. So we're talking a little bit about the 420 material.
You see that 1% Drinkage that is our most affordable material. As it stands today, it is a highly durable part, has really great wear characteristics in it. The applications for that are also kind of endless.
It is a different material than what an engineer would give you today. But if you line up material properties side by side with some other component materials you're looking for, this material will still potentially work inside the application, and it's going to be unbelievably affordable for metal. There's no other metal.
You're going to find this inexpensive today, and then you transition to the 316 material that we're looking to transition to a larger base here with June. It is a little bit more of a difficult process to work through. It does have a higher shrink process.
It is 15% to 20% shrinkage because you're going to a higher density. So the application for this material is a true 316 material and not a matrix material like the 420. And this is going to be your best situation for that corrosion resistance. We spoke a little bit about earlier. The application is going to be better for potential jewelry product line because it's a 316 material, and you won't have to worry about any of the effects of oxidation. But it also is going to drive as a high resolution as well for you because you are using a finer powder.
You are using a thinner layer and it is going to pre liquid phase essentially. So you're also getting a superior surface finish at the end of the day as possible. Brandon, there's a question if stainless steel is food grade. So there are stainless steel that are food grade. It all depends on the post process through the FDA compliance.
We do not offer any food grade safe materials. We haven't gone down that line. It is a very white paper inclusive. Long, long time to go through that type of process, and we haven't had the business case to kind of go down that line yet.
Will that come? Absolutely. We just haven't transitioned into that quite yet. Thank you for answering that. Okay.
So I just kind of wanted to show a little bit about some of the products we've done for 420. We do a lot of putters and you see in the bottom right here do these client auto openers. I think that anybody that's interested in 3D printing has seen these and they've been around forever. They are one of the still today. Still one of the coolest designs.
And what's nice about that is you're basically, the designer is taking an algorithm and spreading an algorithm across the surface of the component, which is design freedom, things you could never have done before. So type of designs are exciting for us to see. The top right here is kind of just like we do a lot of cabinet Moderatory as well. We used to back in the day, even have our own hardware line, which we kind of transition away from that. But just the application base is ever growing.
And then the other thing they want to talk a little bit about, too, is the finish options. We have actually almost a dozen different finishes that we offer, and there anything from gold plating to this gunmetal style, the dark black color to kind of an anti bronzy color as well. And they're offered both in both matte and Polish.
And then there's also a nickel offering as well. So that finishes the skeletal structure is still 420. It's just a post finish. Okay. We have another poll question which has been added, so if you can take a few seconds to fill this out. This one.
I'll definitely be shocked if we have more people with two or more years experience. However, as Brandon keeps talking about. I mean, we've been doing this for 14 years. So depending on who came to watch the webinar, we'll see where it comes from. But this is an exciting one to see kind of who's watching today.
Yeah. Absolutely. I'm interested to see. And we all get a lot of questions what drives your consideration? So I really want to kind of cover that at a high level today and to help everybody that's in this 46% that's popping up right here. Great.
So we'll kind of jump in a little bit about what drives vinegar Jennings considerations for design. And if there are people on here that have been using shape waves for a long time, you see the feedback for design consideration. So I want everyone to understand kind of what drives that. So there are limitations to wall thickness, and that wall thickness really is driven by are we able to pull it out of that box in that green state that's a powdering process drives a lot of our design. And if there are things that there are walls that are under size, if there are walls that are unsupported, then we know after the centering process that we're going to have a product that is not the high quality and high quality is important.
So if you see on the right here that distortion happens during the infiltration process for two reasons. One, it's an unsupported wall over a certain amount of distance. And two, it's a very thin wall that it's prone to have that type of distortion because of how thin it is. There is a limitation. It's great because it's saving money, but at the same time, then can cause a distortion factor on the back end of the process.
So we try to push these minimum wall thicknesses, considering that infiltration process. And you will also try to get a limit of 0.8 millimeter or 30 miles on the depth and width or any type of feature, especially lettering. And the main reason why is because during the infiltration process, there is a skinning over. We call it this bronze.
And as that bronze skins over something that's underneath that limit, not only will it jump that gap, fill in that gap, but also, as you can see here, kind of wash out that detail that people spend a lot of time designing. So that's important for us to give that feedback down the line. So during our process, we talk a little bit about the powdering process. And as we pull this green body part out of the box and the powder, the part, we're basically evacuating loose powder from the component. If there are any type of interior cavities that we cannot get access to, the powder, then cannot be removed.
So you basically just have trap powder. So if you have some type of let's just say you have internal cooling channels that the powder is still stuck in there, then obviously the component is not functional so we try to have an output hole that allows us to one to remove that powder, and two allows us to fill that back up with that aluminum grip. We talked a little bit about earlier to help support that cavity during the infiltration or centering process. There's a lot of detail in here at a high level. That's really what we're kind of looking for during that review process. We ask for a lot of inside edge radiuses, and the main driving factor for that is to eliminate any type of thermal stress during the centering process.
So anytime you have this hard 90 degree edge, it's going to want to push and pull at each other. And also the turbulence of the bronze as it flows into that part doesn't like 90 degree bends either. So the way that I explain it, I think that works the best of my mind is when you Weld two tubes together and flow water down through there. The turbulence at that corner is going to be high. Whereas if you have a single tube and you bend that tube and it has that radial bend at it on it, the flow of water is more fluid.
That's kind of how you have to think about your designs in order to reduce or mitigate that stress during our thermal operations. Okay. And also pointed edges. We are capable of doing that. The process does achieve that.
But if it gets too fine, if you look at this triangle here, if that triangle is more acute, you have obviously a sharper edge and it's still powdered no matter what the other day. So as you're blowing air across that surface and vacuum across that surface, there is potential for that. There's potential for breakage during the powdering process, and there's another factor that drives it as well is especially if the parts tumbled and our finishing process. That is an aggressive process because the 420 is so hard, it will be prone to kind of round out any of those sharp points as well, anyway. But those are the things we point out.
It's all about. Like I said earlier, quality how pleasant in the day. Okay, exciting stuff.
Now the next one are looking to launch this 316 material. We're all really excited about it. Not only does it give you this high detail, I don't know if anybody recognizes what's going on here. This is Hogwarts Castle for all of us nerds, which I think we all are. And you can see the high high detail capability with this material.
That's what we're most excited about. We're also excited to have some oxidation issues eliminated. If there's any concern with that. This is a premium product. So the pricing may not line up with what you see today, but it's still going to be close. And as we grow, it will only get better and better.
And the reason for this resolution is driven by the drop of size powder size layer thickness. So very excited to get this material launched to everybody that is here today. Go ahead. Sorry.
Can you talk about the difference between 316 and 316 L and the cost difference? Yeah. So the difference between 316 L really just means low carbon. And there's a fine, fine window for carbon. Right. And so that low carbon means low corrosion, low oxidation. 316 really is also just called
maybe just 316 H. 316 H just means your carbon content is higher and that carbon will make you prone to oxidation. So that's really the difference between that nomenclature at the end. So at the end of the day, we love seeing these new designs brought on by the ship with customer base, and we just push and push and push for you to rethink outside the box more and more every day.
And if you look at these components we have here that we're adding manufacturing, they cannot because of the organic shape of them with the less waste and think outside the box. Thought process in mind, utilizing binder jetting process in order to achieve these components and also being able to use these simulation software to see if the strength makes sense and then you're lightweighting. You still have the same strength and you have the same material that you're using today as well. Material be plated with gold.
Printed with gold plated with gold. Okay. Yes.
It can keep in mind that the plating is decorative. Plating is not industrial grade by any means, but you can. You can't anything you can do with the traditional 420 series bar stock you can do with our printed material, powder coating, night trotting, et cetera. Any potential you can still achieve.
So this just kind of lays out a little bit about the turn times, and it will only ever get better and faster as well as we transition to these quicker machines. What's nice is the capability to use the platform. That shape was built out for the manufacturing process. It allows this turn time to happen so fast where we can actually upload parts as soon as they're uploaded in the system and get them on the printer within 24 hours.
And then our goal was to get them through the process, through finishing and through QA and through shipping out as fast as possible. All right. We have loved the questions throughout. I'm scrolling through to see I did miss them. And like I said, we will follow up with you if we did not get to your particular question. I have one question brand just kind of off the cuff.
What's the most interesting thing you've seen come through at your eight years at X? One like something that I guess you just would have been totally shocked that could have been actually printed or created or even cool application. I have to say, we did a model. So, you know, like the shadow models, right where you look on the wall and it looks like something different than what the formation is. So the casting on the wall was a brain, and each one of these components was printed was basically like, synapse or nucleus brain structure, where there were these crazy wavy geometries that I was like, we're never going to get those out of the box. And I don't know, we printed, like, 500 of these.
And it was a giant giant hanging sculpture. And basically we just work through the defam process in order to be able to achieve bonding these components together. We had a really hard time doing them as one unit. But what we did was we basically centered the body, and then we printed the tentacles.
I'll call them separate and then formed everything together. And then they were all plated and hung up and had this really cool shadow formation. It was an interesting project. The only other thing that I would say is we designed this ten foot tall nail that had ten Penny nail. Essentially, if anyone knows what that is, and it also had nails all through it. So that was interesting.
It was one of the largest things are always exciting for us because it's a little bit outside the box. We like to have the envelope push because it makes our team here think more. The technicians are always excited. They're like, oh, we can do this. It's all about pushing the limits, constantly taking on a new project.
Use for 3D printing in the future. I would say, absolutely. It's going to continue to grow. Things will always be adapting, always be changing.
We're looking at on a more industrial scale as business grows and supply chains transition. And we're looking at robotics in order to eliminate these people trying to touch thousands and thousands apart. Today is a big hands on process.
And as AI grows, we'll be able to build in the sensitivity to pick these parts up because they are still weak. And we'll be able to build out this fully automated process where you hit the button, go home, come home the next day and everything's ready. That's where bonded Jenning is going to go. Yeah, I agree with you.
And I actually think the software we're at the very precipice of what AI can do in the 3D printing world. You see some of the really cool design softwares now, like in topology and stuff, using that to help kind of create new crazy structures. And then kind of what you're talking about, Brandon, is the amount of parts that are coming off. What if we had some automated system that could scan those parts. Know exactly who they are. And then get them to the right person? So, again, these are just a couple of applications I'm seeing.
But I have to say, I think AI is definitely going to be integrated, and we don't even know all the different possibilities that's going to be used in 3D printing for the future. Yeah. I agree.
Great. Well, Brandon and Steve, thank you very much for walking us through the excellent materials and our partnership with you. We're very appreciative of it and everything that you do. If you would like more information, please visit Shapeways.
Com. To learn more, you can find the excellent materials there and a link to this recording will be sent out to everyone who attended and those that could not make it for the entire time so that you can watch the recording. So again. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day. Thanks, everybody. Bye.