Benefits of metal 3d printing

Aluminum, Stainless Steel 316L, Maraging Steel (MS1), Titanium(Ti64)

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What is the performance of metal 3D printed parts compared with traditional processed ones? What materials are available in metal 3d printing? In which industries are metal printing can be used? How to design products based on its printing performance?
 
With the development of laser-based powder bed fusion, the first technology for metal Additive Manufacturing was established. Today we know more than 18 different metal 3D printing processes, so it is necessary to understand its performance and possibilities before choosing one.

Table of contents  

It takes around 10 minutes to read.

>>Types of metal printing 
>> Case Studies
>> Supported materials
>> Mechanical performance、Tolerance & smoothness
>> Surface finishes
>> Benefits & Limitations
>> Free design tips

>> Types of metal 3D Printing

Category

Technology & Definition

Photo

Powder

Selective Laser Metal Sintering (SLM, or DMLS)

 

Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion

 

Binder Jetting

 

Powder Metallurgy Jetting

 

Powder Feed

Laser Energy

Deposition

 

Cold spray

Wire

Wire Arc /

Plasma Arc

Energy

Deposition

 

Liquid Metal

Printing

Sheets

Ultrasonic

Welding

Rods

Friction

Deposition

Dispersion

Nanoparticle

Jetting

Filament

Metal Filament

Fused Deposition

Modeling

Pellet

Metal Pellet

Fused Deposition

Modeling

Image Courtesy of AM POWDER INSIGHT DE

Among the above technologies, every technology has its advantages, so it is hard to say which one is good or bad. The most popular technologies are Binder jetting, DMLS, EBM, and SLM, free from residual stresses and internal imperfections.

>>Case Studies

Automotive
Metal printed cooling jacket, Material in Alsi10Mg with sand blasting and heat-treatment

Aerospace
Turbine

Medical
Surgical Implant, Medical-Ti64, Design by Sachith Fernando, Ataintl, printed at IN3DTEC factory

Jewelry
Titanium, SS316, Al10SiMg, Designed by Rawan Alderjem, Printed at IN3DTEC factory

Tooling
Stainless Steel 316

>> Supported materials

So far, there are almost more than 15 materials are available in the market, such as Aluminum-AlSi10Mg, Bronze, Copper, Maraging Steel(18Ni300), Stainless Steel(420, 316L, 15-5PH, 17-4PH), Inocel(718, IN625, GH3536), Titanium-Ti6Al4V, Silver, and more.

Please visit the below link to check the available materials’ TDS from IN3DTEC.
https://www.in3dtec.com/material-data-sheets/

>>Mechanical performance、Tolerance & Smoothness

 AlSi10Mg-ALSS 316LMaraging Steel-18Ni300Titanium-Ti64
Mechanical Properties(As printed)
Density (g/cm3)≥2.65≥7.9≥8.0≥4.4
Tensile strength Mpa430±30637±501150±100 1150±70 
Yield Strength Mpa270550±501050±100 1000±50 
HRC140±20 HV5/15 215±10 HV5/15 35±3HRC 360±30 HV5/15 
Elongation after Fracture(%)3±134±512±3 8±2 
Mechanical Properties(Heat Treated)
Density (g/cm3)≥2.65≥7.9≥8.0≥4.4
Tensile Strength Mpa350±50600±501950±100 1050±70 
Yield Strength240±30500±501900±100950±50 
HRC75±20 HV5/15 190±10 HV5/15 53±3HRC330±30 HV5/15 
Elongation after Fracture(%)6±145±54±212±2 

 Roughness as built: Ra7-9
Tolerance:Length within 100mm +/- 0,1mm; length >100mm, 100*0.1%mm

CNC Machining: When tighter tolerances than the standard ± 0.1 mm are required, machining is employed as a finishing step.

Heat-treatment: To improve the material properties of the part.
Polishing: Certain applications require a smoother surface than the standard RA 7 μm of as-printed.

>> Surface finishes

CNC Machining: For tighter tolerance than +-0.1m are required.
Sand-Blasting: To remove the visible layers on the surface
Electropolishing: To make a super smooth surface
Regular/Normal polish: By hand, to get a Roughness like machined parts

Anodizing, Plating: For parts that can be polished well, make a uniform or protection surface coating.

>> Benefits and limitations

Benefits:
+ Free-design your parts in a complex structure
+ Good accuracy and fine details
+ Various materials
+ Time and cost save for low-volume parts

Limitations:
– Cost is higher than CNC for simple parts
– Support structures should be paid more attention to
– Roughness is higher than CNC

> Free Design Tips

PositionTips
aMinimum wall thickness 0.5mm
bFonts minimum thickness 0.5mm
cFonts height or depth 0.5mm
dMinimum hole diameter 0.8 mm
eMinimum Gap 0.5mm


Thread: Tapping the thread by CNC after the printing is recommended
Assemble gap: 0.15mm at each side is necessary for parts to need assembly

 

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