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Copper 3D Printing Breakthrough Could Cut Cost Of Electric Vehicle Parts, Boost Power

Forbes - A Massachusetts company has come up with a way it says will reduce automotive production and supply costs while boosting the efficiency of motors for electric vehicles by solving a previously unsolvable issue—successfully creating copper components with 3D printers.

Watertown, Mass.-based Markforged Inc. said Thursday it has come up with a way to print industrial parts made of pure copper using its Metal X system. It’s a big deal because copper is used for everything from welding tips to heat sinks and other components. But in a phone interview, Markforged CEO and founder Greg Mark explained the metal’s high degree of heat conductivity makes it tough to 3D print parts with it using the traditional laser-based process. A simple explanation is because copper reflects light so well it essentially also reflects away much of the energy needed to mold the part.

But Markforged figured out how to avoid that problem by changing the way copper powder is configured and heated.

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