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This is a guest post by Fiona Collins from FLEKS3D

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Virginia-based Aeroprobe’s new metal printing technology is generating a lot of buzz for its ability to print without m...

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At this point in time, metal printing is not easily available to everyone largely due to its high cost. Singapore-based company Hitch3Dprint is looking to remedy this. They developed a program to help everyone print his or her desired parts at a lower price. The company has compiled an impressive list of partners worldwide that allows its users to “hitch” a metal 3D printer the way one would hitch a ride on a car, utilising its unused capacity for printing. The database allows access to a global network of 1,000 powder bed fusion printers and delivery services.
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The company recognises the cost and availability of metal printing makes it widely inaccessible. As a solution, Hitch3DPrint has introduced the idea of hitching a printer. It is common for many metal prints to not make use of their full capacity when printing. While the print is processing, there is a lot of excess space that goes unused. What hitching allows people to do is to make use of the excess capacity for a fee without incurring set up costs. The company has stated that hitching can reduce costs by at least 30 to 50%.
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The company provides a novel approach that aids both buyers and their partners. It enables partners to stack multiple hitch orders and increase their revenue while providing highly competitive prices to customers. Not to mention how it allows access to state of the art technology all over the world with a process as easy as making a few clicks and uploading a single file.
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The service itself works in a similar way to some other print services. The user uploads their stl file, receives an instant ‘hitch’ quotation after choosing their desired technology and what metal they want and then simply wait for the delivery. The database includes more than 1,000 metal printers worldwide featuring both laser and electron capabilities along with a wide range of materials and alloy variants. These machines belong to the 166 service providers in their database. Within the network, a community of metal additive equipment and powder manufacturers, as well as their locations, are also featured.
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Hitching a request typically happens within 3 days. When requests are sent out, the network of partners will assess if they are suited to the job. This means that the partner will also be printing with the same material and has spare space to put on another object. Once a partner accepts, they will print out the desired object and Hitch3DPrint will have it delivered for free.
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You can view the list of partners in the image below (or here on the Hitch3DPrint website). So, if you are looking for a place to get a metal print developed, look no further.
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