ExOne Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Explore ExOne customers’ frequently asked questions below.

If you don’t see an answer for something you’re curious about, please contact us.

General Inquiries

Based on the patented 3DP process developed at MIT, ExOne builds functional 3D objects from the bottom up, one layer at a time with durable, industrial-strength materials. See the Technology Overview page to find out about the process.

It depends on the material system used. For stainless steel and bronze metal parts, ultimate tensile strengths range between 60 and 100 ksi, with hardness levels of 20-30 HRc.

The surface quality depends on your material choice. Each material has a different natural surface quality. This is also true for the various finishing options. For metal printing, we offer a variety of plating choices. Check out our materials pages for more specifics.

ExOne® sand printers can achieve printing tolerances of +/- 0.3 mm (0.012 in). ExOne® metal printers can achieve accuracies of +/- 0.13 mm (0.005 in) in components under 75 x 75 x 75 mm (3 x 3 x 3 in); +/- 0.25 mm (0.010 in) in components up to 250 x 250 x 250 mm (10 x 10 x 10 in); and +/- 1.3 mm (0.050 in) for the largest components up to 780 x 400 x 400 mm (30.7 x 15.75 x 15.75 in).

Yes. The software will allow for as many parts as can fit within the build box, and each can be different or fully customized. This maximizes time and minimizes waste. It takes as long to print one part as it does to print multiple parts in the build box.

Yes. Several metal options are currently in development. Please inquire about your specific needs and ExOne will determine feasibility.

The digital part materialization processes offer design and manufacturing freedom previously unachievable. ExOne® systems are robust and reliable, running around the clock unattended.

For contract services, the cost to produce prototypes or low volume pieces is significantly lower than alternative techniques. ExOne support technicians are dedicated and responsive to customer requirements and deadlines.

For Parts on Demand, the cost for ExOne® produced components is significantly lower than other additive process shops.


Yes. ExOne operates facilities on three continents and ships worldwide.

File Preparation

You can learn how to 3D model by learning how to use 3D modeling tools such as Rhino, Blender or SketchUp. It will take you a few weeks to become familiar with these software packages and half a year or more to become an accomplished user. But, if you would like us to 3D model something for you, contact one of our global facilities with a detailed description of what you need and we’ll get back to you with an estimate.

There is no “best” 3D modeling software. However, there are a lot of really good software packages such as Rhino®, Maya®, and SolidWorks®. But, CAD software such as AutoCAD® and Pro Engineer® also work well for 3D printing. If you’re just getting started, you can try SketchUp® or Blender®, and both can be downloaded for free.

You can upload .STL, .STD, .IGS, .MODEL, .3DS, .MXP, .OBJ, .WRL, .3DM and .SKP file formats to ExOne. If you have a large file, or a number of files, you can also use the RAR and ZIP formats to compress them and upload these to us.

Absolutely – and we can execute formal nondisclosure agreements for further protection. We will never share customer files without written consent.

Each 3D model we receive goes through a comprehensive evaluation process, which will pinpoint any errors in the file. You then have a choice of making the adjustments yourself and resending the file, or having our qualified 3D designers make the necessary changes for you.

The minimum wall thickness and level of detail depend on the process being used and the size and shape of the design. For metal and glass, we recommend a minimum of 1.5 mm (0.060 in) detail for smaller parts and 2.3 mm (0.090 in) for larger components. For sand molds and cores, walls thickness depends on the alloy as well as the thickness to length ratio. Typical details of 3 mm (0.1 in) in aluminum and 6 mm (0.2 in) in steel are possible.

ExOne produces some of the world’s largest 3D printers. For metal and glass our largest build area is 780 x 400 x 400 mm (30.7 x 15.75 x 15.75 in). For sand, our largest build area is 1800 x 1000 x 700 mm (70 x 39 x 27 in).


Contact one of our global facilities or request a quote online with your requirements.

The standard lead-time is 5-15 working days, depending on the complexity, material, and finishing of your order. Most orders are shipped out within 10 working days.

Yes. Each of our facilities has the resources to take your order and forward it to the appropriate location for processing.