Metal 3D printers in 2022: a comprehensive guide (Part 1)

What is 3D metal printing? This guide covers the basics of metal additive manufacturing, which metal 3D printer options exist today, how metal 3D printers work, which metals can be 3D printed, and more.

What is the best metal 3D printer in 2022?

Over the past few years, there has been a surge in both supply and demand for metal 3D printers.

Manufacturers are launching metal additive manufacturing machines that are faster, easier to use, and more powerful with an increasing number of compatible metals.

Many businesses are adopting these 3D metal printing technologies to produce cost-effective metal parts and prototypes, benefiting as well from increased freedom of design linked to additive manufacturing. They are suitable for a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, health, engineering, and more.

Although metal 3D printer prices have been slowly and slightly decreasing, these machines are still relatively expensive acquisitions, mostly ranging from $80K to almost $1M.

With our metal 3D printer selection, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of what’s available from well-established and distributed brands, at various price points, and with different metal 3D printing technologies.

The best metal 3D printers in 2022


Xact Metal XM200C 127 × 127 × 127 mm United States $ 65,000 Quote
Additec uPrinter 160 × 120 × 450 mm Germany $ 90,000 Quote
Markforged Metal X (Gen 2) 300 × 220 × 180 mm United States Quote
Coherent CREATOR Germany $ 100,000 Quote
Desktop Metal Studio 2 300 × 200 × 200 mm United States $ 110,000 Quote
Pollen AM Pam Series MC ⌀ 300 x 300 mm France $ 140,000 Quote
TRUMPF TruPrint 1000 100 × 100 × 100 mm Germany $ 170,000 Quote
Rapidia Metal 3D printer 200 × 280 × 200 mm Canada $ 185,000 Quote
Formalloy L-Series 1000 × 1000 × 1000 mm United States $ 200,000 Quote
3D Systems

DMP Flex 100 100 × 100 × 80 mm United States $ 245,000 Quote
EOS EOS M 100 100 × 100 × 95 mm Germany $ 350,000 Quote
SISMA EVEMET 200 ⌀ 200 x 200 mm Italy $ 350,000 Quote
XJet Carmel 700M 501 × 140 × 200 mm Israel $ 599,000 Quote
Desktop Metal Production System P-1 200 × 100 × 40 mm United States upon request Quote
Digital Metal DM P2500 203 × 180 × 69 mm Sweden upon request Quote
GE Additive Arcam EBM Spectra L 350 × 350 × 430 mm United States upon request Quote
GE Additive M2 Series 5 250 × 250 × 350 mm United States upon request Quote
Renishaw RenAM 500E 245 × 245 × 335 mm United Kingdom upon request Quote
SPEE3D LIGHTSPEE3D 300 × 300 × 300 mm Australia upon request Quote
TRIDITIVE AMCELL 220 × 330 mm Spain upon request Quote
Velo3D Sapphire ⌀ 315 x 1000 mm United States upon request Quote

Technology: The technologies listed above are main categories of metal 3D printing technologies. Most manufacturers have their own branded technologies, which fall into the main categories that are listed in the table.

Main types of metal 3D printing technologies

The four main types of 3D metal printing technologies are:

  • Metal Powder Bed Fusion 3D printing (SLS, SLM, DMP)
  • Directed Energy Deposition (DED)
  • Metal filament extrusion (FFF, FDM)
  • Material Jetting and Binder Jetting

There are also some resin-based metal 3D printers, and metal sheet lamination 3D printers, but they are harder to come by.

It is not uncommon to see different acronyms and names for similar technologies. Each brand markets their own, proprietary methods. Some metal 3D printer companies even use a mix of different technologies.

Metal 3D printers in 2022
A breakdown of the metal 3D printer market by technology types. Source: Aniwaa database (2019)

Here we provide a deeper look into each 3D metal printer from our list. They are grouped together according to their main 3D printing technology type (powder bed fusion, material/binder jetting, extrusion, and DED).

Extrusion-based metal 3D printer selection (FFF, FDM)

Extrusion consists of heating the material (filament) and pushing it through a nozzle. In the metal 3D printing case, the filament is generally made up of metal particles mixed into a binding agent.

After the part is 3D printed, the result is a raw object or part; it must go through several post-processing steps– such as debinding and sintering– to attain its final form.

Desktop Metal Bound Metal Deposition™
Most extrusion-based metal 3D printing processes include these steps. The above illustration is sourced from Desktop Metal (Bound Metal Deposition™ process).

Studio 2


By Desktop Metal

Country United States
Build size 300 × 200 × 200 mm
Technology Extrusion

$ 110,000

Desktop Metal’s Studio is an office-friendly, end-to-end metal 3D printing system. Aside from the printer, the Studio line also includes a debinding machine and a furnace for sintering. Indeed, parts 3D printed with this Desktop Metal 3D printer are “green”.

The Studio printer, with its proprietary Bound Metal Deposition technology, uses filament that is filled with small, metal rods. During debinding, the binding material (wax and polymer binders) is dissolved thanks to a proprietary liquid substance. The part is left porous, and must go in the furnace for its particles to fuse and densify the part.

Metal X (Gen 2)

Metal 3D printers in 2022

By Markforged
Country United States
Build size 300 × 220 × 180 mm
Technology Extrusion


Markforged is specialized in continuous fiber 3D printing, but also offers metal 3D printing with their Metal X system, featuring Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM) technology.

This Markforged 3D printer extrudes metal-filled plastic filament to form the part, which must then be washed with a special debinding fluid (Wash-1 Station) and then sintered in a furnace (Sinter-1 or Sinter-2 Markforged machines).

Available metal 3D printer filament includes various Steels (H13, A2, D2 tool steels, 316L stainless steel) as well as Inconel, Copper, and Titanium.

Metal 3D printer

By Rapidia
Country Canada
Build size 200 × 280 × 200 mm
Technology Extrusion

$ 185,000

Canada-based Rapidia offers an interesting and unique way to 3D print metal. They use a water-based metal paste, which eliminates the need for chemical debinding. The water evaporates during the 3D printing process, so the part only needs to go through the furnace in order to completely solidify and attain its final form.

Confirmed, available paste types include several Stainless Steels, Inconel, and a few ceramics. Copper, Tungsten Chrome Carbide, Titanium, and various other metals are in development.

The ExOne Metal Designlab, designed in collaboration with Rapidia, works on the same basis.

Pam Series MC


By Pollen AM
Country France
Build size ⌀ 300 x 300 mm
Technology Extrusion

$ 140,000

Pollen AM is a French manufacturer that has been producing pellet 3D printers since 2013. Their Pam Series MC is a delta-style 3D printer (cylindrical build volume) that can print metals, ceramics, and thermoplastics.

It extrudes injection-molding-grade pellets instead of metal 3D printer filament, driving material costs down significantly. Pollen AM names their technology “Pellet Additive Manufacturing”.


Country Spain
Build size 220 × 330 mm
Technology Extrusion

upon request

This machine was built with one goal: enable mass production 3D printing of metal parts 24/7. The AMCELL is fully automated, with auto feedstock control, environment control (temperatures, humidity, air filtering), and an ejection system fitted with a conveyor belt.

Rather than providing one, big build volume, the TRIDITIVE AMCELL boasts eight delta-style ø 220 x 330 mm build areas. Its eight “robots” deposit metal-infused filament to create 3D metal parts. TRIDITIVE states that resulting parts are similar to ones produced with traditional MIM (Metal Injection Molding) methods.

TRIDITIVE’s technology is called Automated Multimaterial Deposition®.

(To be Continued…)

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