XJet booth at Rapid
XJet booth at Rapid
At AMUG 2016 CBO of Xjet Dror Danai joked that XJet did not stand for "Ex Objet Employee" and although this is true (it is actually was just a temporary name that Hanan Gothait, Founder and CEO, grew to like) the strides that the company has already made in the 3D printing of metal using inkjet technology can be largely attributed to the experieces at Objet they were able to draw from.
I met with Markets Development Manager, Avi Cohen, on the XJet booth at RAPID 2016, Avi has a huge amount of experience in 3D printing having been first hired by Objet and Xjet founder Hanan Gothait 16 years ago. From 2011 to October 2015 Avi was Director of Global Dental Sales and Marketing at Stratasys but says that this opportunity to join XJet was too good an opportunity to pass up.
"We're not just a start up of three guys," Avi said "A problem that may have taken me ten years to solve took me ten days when I got to XJet."
The machine here at RAPID is only a technology display, but it looks impressive, it is printing parts using stainless steel and the support material. I am told that once the parts are printed the build tray is placed in a furnace to finish the process and that the furness is not a high-tech proprietary one: "It's like baking a pizza" Avi explains.
The beauty of XJet's process means that the user doesn't have to worry about redesigning or orienting the part correctly in the build platform, the support material that crumbles away like "sand" means that your part can supported throughout hollow structures.
Parts with exceptional detail on display
The parts XJet have on display at the booth are incredibly detailed thanks, according to Avi, to the nano particle sized material in the propietary cartridges. Those cartridges are at the core of the inkjetting technology in that they contain metal powders surrounded by a liquid so that they can be jetted, the liquid then evaporates during the build process.
The demo machine is printing with stainless steel material at the moment but some of the parts on display have been printed using silver. The second cartridge (on the left of the image) is a support material, having a different support material from the matrix material allows for greater design freedom as if for instance you're printing a pipe you can print the supports internally and they can be washed away with ease, whereas if one was to build in one metal powder internal support removal can be tricky.
The XJet launch is not your usual launch, this is a company with vast experience bringing a technology the team are experts in to the metal AM market. They expert to start sales in the beginning of 2017 and judging by what they have already achieved, we'd imagine people will be queuing up.