The collaborative approach between Xaar and Meta Additive began last year, after Meta Additive had experienced difficulties sourcing print heads with sufficient capability to deliver the performance they required.
Following a meeting with Xaar and Meta Additive’s CTO, Kate Black, despite lockdown conditions, a Xaar 1003 print head had been selected and supplied in under four weeks, and the application was up and running immediately. The reliability and performance of Xaar’s printheads are proving key for Meta Additive as they revolutionise additive manufacturing in volume metal and ceramic 3D printing (M3DP).
The wide operating window and unique technologies within the Xaar 1003 print head enabled Meta Additive to use a variety of fluids that had previously been seen as too difficult to jet. Xaar’s print head architecture and unique TF Technology, High Laydown Technology and High Viscosity capability, in conjunction with the technical support from Xaar’s Advanced Applications and Technologies Group, helped Meta Additive move beyond the conventional limits of inkjet printing.
‘After initially finding it impossible to gain access to a sufficiently capable print head, the arrival of Xaar’s 1003 product, with its unique technologies and ability to handle a wide range of fluids, was a game-changer for our development process,’ said Black. ‘With the remarkable performance and operating window of the Xaar 1003, and Xaar’s willingness to engage in open, truly two-way collaboration and development, we have seen the partnership deliver unprecedented progress and genuine innovation in the M3DP field.’
The award of a R24 million (£1.2 million) Innovate UK SMART grant will build on this development as Meta Additive and Xaar work with The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Epivalence to achieve metal 3D-printing of multi-materials at scale.
Mike Seal, Xaar’s Head of Advanced Applications, Technologies and Fluids said, ‘Our work with Meta Additive and its binder jetting innovation is as creative as it is relevant to today’s evolving manufacturing environment and above all demonstrates the role that inkjet technology and collaboration between forward-thinking businesses is playing in pushing the boundaries of inkjet.
‘The ability of the team to think laterally, adopting and adapting to drive their progress, fits hand in glove with our Advanced Applications and Technologies Group and we are very much looking forward to where this superb collaborative development can take manufacturing in the future.’