Xact Metal: A Model of Prudent Growth in 3D Printing Amidst Industry Giants’ Struggles

By on January 12th, 2024 in Corporate, news

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Metal spinner 3D printed by Xact Metal [Source: Fabbaloo]

As usual, my recent conversation with Xact Metal revealed some interesting insights into the metal 3D printing industry.

The Pennsylvania company has been refining their compact metal 3D printer for several years, and each time I speak with the company’s CEO, Juan Mario Gomez, I learn something important.

The company has settled on a technology at this point, and has in recent years dramatically growing their reseller network. Now, however, they’re shifting to a different focus: applications.

The first application the company is tackling with this new focus is tooling. Specifically they want to help companies produce factory tools made with tool steel. They selected this market because their research showed that the existing solutions are not particularly good or are too expensive for customers.

Their experience with clients revealed that many require guidance to successfully apply the technology to their application. Adding all this together, they’ve carefully put together a package of elements to solve this application problem for customers.

First, they’ve hired an application expert that can provide detailed consultation with clients on this type of application. They can, for example, show the customer how to properly model conformal cooling for their print jobs. This alone will solve many of the customer challenges, but there’s more.

They’ve partnered with a major steel provider, Uddeholm, to make use of high quality, corrosion-resistant tool steel. This should also improve the customer experience by increasing print quality.

The combination of these two elements, combined with Xact Metal’s relatively inexpensive metal 3D printing platform, should form a solid solution for many small and medium-sized operations.

One of the challenges that must be overcome, however, is simply change. In these tough times many companies are avoiding the significant cost and effort required to include additive technology in their production processes. By providing an inexpensive platform, high quality material and appropriate consulting, Xact Metal just might be able to overcome the “I can’t do this” barrier in some customer situations.

Is it working? It seems so, as Gomez hinted that the company’s sales have doubled over the past year. That’s significant, and quite different from the major 3D print player, most of which seem to be plateaued.

Those larger companies are the subject of much discussion these days, as they have absorbed gigantic sums of VC investment funds, seemingly without the possibility of return at this point. Their failure has dampened the entire industry, and it’s now harder to raise money for anyone.

On the other hand, we have smaller companies such as Xact Metal that have not taken the big investments, and instead proceed prudently in a step by step manner towards corporate success.

There should be more companies like Xact Metal.

Via Xact Metal

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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