what is 3d metal printing and processes

Metal 3D printing – Process and Application

What is metal 3D printing?

3D printing is the use of laser-based manufacturing techniques to produce new products with powdered metals.

3D printing is part of additive manufacturing and is now popular in the manufacturing industry, it helps to produce products that can not be possible in the traditional manufacturing process.

Metal 3D printing service areas

Metal 3D printing is now popular in many verticals of manufacturing such as aerospaceautomotive, and machines used in medical science.

It is more preferred because it allows complex metal parts to be printed at a relatively low price compared to traditional metalworking manufacturing techniques such as machiningmilling, or vacuum casting.

With the various 3D metal printers on the market now, there are more achievements in 3D printing.

3D printing companies now have the choice to choose between powder coatingmetal separation, and hybrid systems.

Applications of metal 3D printing

Metal 3D printing is mainly used today in the manufacturing industry to make tool components or finished parts.

In the aerospace industryit can be used to produce aircraft components or rocket engines.

In the automotive industry, there are molds for the mass injection of thousands of components which can be produced.

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Also in medicine, it is a matter of measuring implantsespecially in the dental field.

Metal additive manufacturing can even be used in the marine sector to construct boat propellers.

The fields of application are broad and 3D metal printing will certainly open up even more areas and applications in the future

what is 3d metal printing and processes

3D printing processes

There are now different processes for 3D printing with metal, more than what we have in the inception of this technology.

These processes enable a manufacturer to produce the specific parts that are needed to be printed.

The powder bed-based melting processwhich was first introduced in the 1970sis subject to a relatively simple principle – an energy source that sinters or melts a metal powder to make the finished product, layer by layer.

The bestknown technology based on this principle is undoubtedly Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), which was patented by ERD and EOS in the 1990s.

We can differentiate between the method developed by the Irepa laser and the Direct Additive Laser Construction (CLAD).

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The powdered metal is projected from the nozzle and fused at its outlet via a laser beam to form a kind of welding bead.

In another dimension from the powder bedbased meltingthis method can be used to print directly onto a part.

In the 1990sCIRTES developed a new hybrid methodthe socalled Stratoconceptionwhich combines additive processing and additive manufacturing.

Cold spraying is another process also known as the cold cutting process.

The aim is to connect the metal powders by projecting them cold onto a carrierThe projection is ensured with helium.

It is a 3D metal printing process that is used rarely today compared to others because the gas that’s used is relatively expensive.

Some manufacturers have developed their own patented technologies that stand out from the large providers already mentioned.

We think of the magnetic metal handling by magnetism developed by Vader Systems or of the technology of metal injection moldinginspired by the French Pollen AM.

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Metals that are used in additive manufacturing

In additive manufacturing, one of the most common metals we find useful is aluminummostly in the form of an alloy that offers both lightness and strength.

It is mainly used for parts where weight is importantsuch as in aerospace and automobiles.

Steel is also a popular materialespecially in industryIt has good mechanical properties and a beautiful surface.

It is the most common material used in metal additive manufacturing.

In additionthere are materials such as galliumcobalt-chromiumwhich are particularly suitable for medical applicationsand titaniumwhich is very resistant to corrosion and has a high level of biocompatibility for medical applications.

Precious metals are mainly used in jewelryDespite the high cost, we find goldsilver, and bronze very useful in making all kinds of jewelry.