Stanley Black & Decker slashes costs and time with Markforged Metal X 3D printing


Stanley Black & Decker engineers save thousands of dollars per year on just one metal 3D printed part, while replicating the quality and reliability of machined parts.

Engineers from Stanley Black & Decker were searching for a cost-effective way to manufacture low volume, complex parts. After exploring metal 3D printing technologies, Stanley Black & Decker’s Infrastructure Innovation Center chose Markforged’s new Metal X additive manufacturing technology to produce reliable, 3D printed parts and slash their capital costs and lead times.

By leveraging Markforged’s Metal X additive manufacturing technology, the Infrastructure team expects to slash capital costs on two different parts — an actuator housing for the PD45 Hydraulic Post Driver and a wheel shaft for the PG10 Profile “Frog” Grinder. Engineers at Stanley Infrastructure rigorously tested the performance, durability, and life cycle of each of the two parts and approved them for use as production parts for a fraction of the cost.

By replacing their current manufacturing work flow with the Markforged Metal X, Stanley Infrastructure saves between 34% and 48% on manufacturing costs and slashes part lead time by 69%. While these are significant savings, they even better leverage the Metal X on single part manufacturing (in this case, Stanley Infrastructure often produces single replacement parts for devices in the field).

Because their existing process only produces parts in batches, printing single parts with the Metal X is 12.5x cheaper and 20x faster than casting and machining. The Metal X further undercuts this process by being a pay-per-part machine instead of a pay-per-batch machine.

The Markforged Metal X is the world’s first Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM) machine. By printing metal powder bound in a plastic matrix a layer at a time into the shape of the part, Markforged have eliminated the safety risks associated with traditional metal 3D printing while enabling new features like closed-cell infill for reduced part weight and cost. Parts are scaled up by Markforged’s Eiger software to compensate for shrinkage during the sintering process.

Printed parts go through a washing stage to remove some of the binder. They are then sintered in a furnace and the metal powder fuses into solid metal. Pure metal and up to 99.7% dense, the final parts are ready for use. They can be processed and treated just like any other metal parts.

It’s up to 10x less expensive than alternative metal additive manufacturing technologies — and up to a 100x less than traditional fabrication technologies like machining or casting. Affordable, reliable, and easy to use, the Metal X print system gives you everything you need to go from design to fully functional metal parts faster than ever before.

Click for more information about this Stanley Black & Decker Case Study: Stanley Black & Decker  for an analysis of the part and performance comparison from their original parts versus the parts printed on the Markforged Metal X 3D printing system.