Sharebot is developing a metal 3D printer they call the “MetalONE”.
I find this both surprising and not surprising. Surprising because Sharebot started operations many years ago as a developer of basic desktop 3D printers, and it’s amazing to see them evolve all the way to the release of a full-fledged metal 3D printer.
But it’s also not surprising because the Italian company has been incrementally releasing 3D printing equipment with more advanced features. At first, their machines were FFF filament-based devices, but more recently they’ve released SLA (resin) and SLS (powder) style machines. The move to a metal device seems like a logical next step.
Sharebot MetalONE Specifications
Let’s take a look at this new metal 3D printer.
It’s a standard powder bed / laser design, with a galvanometric 250W fibre laser as the energy source.
For sure, the build volume on this metal 3D printer is small at only 65 x 65 x 100 mm. But depending on what you’re doing, that might be perfectly adequate, and it reduces the price of the machine to affordable levels. This also means the device is relatively small physically, and so it will be able to fit through all standard doorways, unlike many larger metal 3D printers.
The X-Y precision is 0.2mm, which is good but not excellent. However, the minimum layer size appears to be a fine 0.02mm. The diameter of the laser spot is only 0.045mm.
For safety and material purity, the build chamber’s atmosphere is controlled. The MetalONE can use either argon or nitrogen, depending on the type of metal powder you’re 3D printing.
As metal 3D printers go, the MetalONE is quite lightweight at only 174kg. That’s likely due to the small build volume, which pays off with this low weight and thus easy transport.
Of course, the device includes an on board webcam and network connectivity for remote monitoring during printing operations.
Sharebot MetalONE Materials
Sharebot tells us the MetalONE requires a minimum of 800g of metal powder material to run, but can accommodate up to 2kg if required. They’ve been able to 3D print with 316L steel, titanium and several other commonly used metal powders.
The machine is designed to use open materials, and there is no requirement to use any specific materials source. In fact, the machine is designed to be used by R&D labs for materials development, and the small build volume is quite appropriate for that purpose.
Sharebot MetalONE Price
Sharebot says they’ve shipped the first five units already, but it seems they are for beta testing. They intend on formally launching the machine in May, only a couple of months away. They say the MetalONE will be priced at approximately €65,000 (US$72,000).