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

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…

Mark says electric vehicles can also benefit from 3D printing complex copper parts as the process can improve the performance of its motors.

“Electric motors have the same exact problem of, you want to get a high amount of power into them through copper but you need to keep them cool,” said Mark. “So if you can print the complex geometry with internal cooling channels you can get higher energy density, higher efficiency electric motors.”