Metal desk (NYSE: DM), the Massachusetts-based metal binder jetting 3D printer manufacturer, announced that the Seattle-based company Ultra Safe Nuclear Society (USNC), began using Desktop’s line of X-Series printers at its plant in Salt Lake City, Utah. The USNC is known for developing the Modular Micro Reactor: the first “fission battery” to be used for real-world applications, which was created by the company’s founders in Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
The X-Series line is Desktop’s rebranding of the ceramic and metal bond jetting line produced by ExOne, which Desktop purchased last November. USNC currently uses two small-form-factor InnoventX machines and plans to purchase two more machines – the larger X25Pro and X160Pro models – later in 2022.
USNC made headlines earlier this year when it announced it was licensing ORNL’s proprietary method of producing silicon carbide parts using a combination of binder jetting and infiltration. chemical vapor. This is the “advanced hardware capability of the X-series machines” which, according to Dr. Terrani, is “fundamental to [USNC’s] innovative approach to fuel design”. The main advantage of the USNC (and ORNL) method is that it facilitates the manufacture of parts with geometrically complex designs that are difficult or impossible to achieve with other production methods.
A company whose future potential has garnered great interest from investors, but which has so far struggled to translate its buzz into concrete results, Desktop Metal – thanks to its purchase of ExOne – may have found its niche supplying printers for the most important field of nuclear 3D printing. And, given the continuing litany of world events that have crippled energy supply lines as one of their main effects, it seems likely that nuclear power will continue to become an even more important source of electrical capacity. world.
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