Xaar’s 1003 for Meta Additive’s metal & ceramic 3D printing

Collaboration to implement novel chemical tailoring of materials

Xaar’s 1003 for Meta Additive’s metal & ceramic 3D printing
Meta Additive builds 3D solutions that mix materials at the molecular level Photo Xaar

Cambridge, 19 July 2021, the reliability and performance of Xaar’s printheads are proving key for another UK cutting edge jetting provider, Meta Additive, as it revolutionizes additive manufacturing in volume metal and ceramic 3D printing (M3DP). The collaborative approach between both businesses began in 2020 after Meta Additive had experienced difficulties sourcing printheads with sufficient capacity to deliver the performance required for its novel chemical approach to 3D printing, enabling the tailoring of materials at the molecular level.

Following a meeting with Xaar and Meta Additive’s CTO, Kate Black, a Xaar 1003 printhead was selected and supplied in under four weeks despite lockdown conditions. The application was up and running immediately. The wide operating window and unique technologies within the Xaar 1003 printhead enabled Meta Additive to use various fluids that had previously been seen as too difficult to jet. Xaar’s printhead architecture and unique TF technology, high laydown, 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 printhead, 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 Kate 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.”

Multi-material jetting to push the boundaries of inkjet

The award of a £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, it demonstrates the role that inkjet technology and collaboration between forward-thinking businesses are 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.”

Founded in October 2019, Meta Additive develops innovative metallic and ceramic binders and 3D printing equipment, providing industrial Additive Manufacturing solutions for a broad market sector.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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