Xact Metal seems to have hit the sweet spot.
The Pennsylvania-based company has been developing a series of low-cost metal 3D printers for several years. While they are still a small company, it would not be fair to class them as a startup.
We recently had a conversation with Xact Metal’s CEO, Juan Mario Gomez, to find out the latest developments at the company.
Gomez excitedly told us of the company’s recent progress, where he indicated very significant increases in sales, which apparently double each year.
The company has been operating for several years, so I asked what factors had been driving the increases. Gomez described several, of which other 3D printer manufacturers might take note.
The biggest change in Xact Metal’s strategy is their introduction of their XM300G metal 3D printer, which happened last year. This machine just happens to be slightly larger in build volume than their previous equipment with a size of 300 x 300 x 350 mm. This can be optionally upgraded to 300 x 300 x 450 mm.
Gomez said this added build volume has suddenly enabled a much larger market for the company, since it turns out that a far greater number of metal parts fit into that volume. Gomez said:
“With the XM300G, we’re now in the conversation!”
This is a critical point: when companies evaluate potential equipment options, their job is to quickly disqualify any equipment that wouldn’t work with their activities. After all, why waste time looking at something that isn’t going to be purchased? It seems that the 200mm build volume was being quickly stroked off the list by many buyers.
Now the 300mm build volume cancels those strokes and keeps Xact Metal in the game. Sometimes they win, and that’s driving sales up.
“Our printer is not a niche product; it can make real parts for companies.”
In addition to the build volume, Xact Metal has provided flexible configurations to customers. After the upgradeable build volume, they also offer two laser options with different power levels (400W and 700W), and the ability to add more than one laser.
I asked Gomez about the need for multiple lasers in a relatively small build volume, and he explained it was all about print speed:
“Metal powder has a kind of ‘speed limit’ when printing, so the only way to speed up printing is with more lasers.”
The result is that the XM300G can be configured with one, two or even four lasers. That can provide a significant positive impact on print times. A quad 700W laser system would provide seven times as much energy per second as the base single 400W laser system, with a corresponding increase in print speed.
This type of configurability is desirable to Xact Metal’s market, again helping push sales skyward. It’s also reaching a different type of client.
Originally Xact Metal focused on what Gomez describes as a “value client”, those focused on saving expense. But with the new machine the company has found a new market in “performance clients”, who are willing to spend more money to achieve better results.
Finally, the company now has 27 resellers and distributors in their network in a variety of regions, which certainly will help develop the Xact Metal brand.
Via Xact Metal