Why do you need 3D metal printing?
To obtain all-metal three-dimensional objects, there are special industrial 3D printers for metal. The ability to create small batches of metal objects opens up new opportunities for piece and small batch production.
3D PRINTING WITH METAL: PRICE AND TIME
Cost of 3D printing on the EOSFormigaP100 printer
Base cost stamp aluminum is 180 hry. + 105 UAH for each subsequent cubic centimeter. 3D printing prices cobalt and chromium begin from UAH 1890 for 1 cm3.
Cost of 3D printing on ArcamA2 printer
Base cost of 3D printing service steel is from UAH 1555 + 505 UAH per print 1 cm3. 3D printing cost titanium somewhat more expensive and amounts to UAH 2330 + 630 UAH for 1 cm3.
Terms of manufacturing metal products on a 3D printer
The term for creating a metal product depends on the amount of preparatory work (3D modeling and preparation of technical specifications). Further, everything is limited only by the size and number of metal parts. Print speed on EOS Formiga P100 – layer up to 20 mm per hour (depending on the material). a printer Arcam A2 prints from 55 to 80 cm3 per hour …
Four advantages of a 3D metal printer
Metal 3D printers allow parts to be produced faster than molds, because to obtain a product, only a ready-made 3D model of the object is needed, which can be immediately sent to print.
production cost one item on a 3D printer for metal printing cheaper than when molded into a silicone mold or mold.
Depending on the technology chosen, 3D printers create precise models with very fine details , which cannot be achieved when turning metals on CNC machines.
Metal 3D printers are capable of printing several products or parts in one chamber , which is limited only by its size.
3D PRINTING WITH METAL: TECHNOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT
The essence of metal 3D printing technology
The essence of technology 3 D-printing metal is as follows. A very thin layer of heated metal powder ( metal clay ). It contains metal shavings, water and an organic binder. Sintering of particles with the previous layer and among themselves occurs in those places that correspond to the 3D model. Printing is carried out in a special chamber without oxygen, where a high temperature is maintained at a certain level.
After completing work on one layer, additional composite material is applied with a roller and the next layer is formed until the finished product is obtained. In this case, excess material is not removed from the layer, but remains a support for subsequent structures. This allows you to create hanging elements and other geometrically complex structures … During the firing process, organic matter and water evaporate, resulting in shrinkage by 10-30%, which is always taken into account in 3D modeling.
There are two main types metal printing – 3D printing by SLS method and EBM technology.
SLS printing – laser sintering of metal
SLS seal means selective laser sintering metal powder (or thermoplastic in powder form) due to laser emitters. One of the main advantages of SLS printing technology is the minimal post-processing requirements. After receiving the finished product from the SLS3D printer, the metal model can be coated with special materials to increase its strength.
There is also subspecies SLS Technology 3 D-print – DMLS (direct laser sintering method) designed to work with pure metal powders.
EOS Formiga P100 SLS Printer
EOS Formiga P100 Industrial Metal 3D Printer Prints aluminum, cobalt and chrome as well as other materials. In addition, it can print common plastic products from white polyamide … One of the most important features is the ability to manufacture products with complex configurations that cannot be obtained in any other way. Chamber size – 200x250x330 mm.
EBM technology – electron beam melting
EBM technology works on the same principle as SLS 3D printing. However, in this case, the metal clay melts due to high power electrical impulses. The electron beam is corrected by manipulating magnetic fields, not by rotating the print head as is the case with SLS printing.
EBM printer ArcamA2
Today printers for EBM technology are produced only by Arcam. Parts construction area is 200x200x180 mm.
For 3D printing, this printer uses titanium and titanium alloys (Ti6Al4V, etc.). Due to the strength of the resulting products, 3D printing with titanium is used to manufacture parts for gas turbine engines for the aerospace industry, heat exchangers for power engineering, solvent-resistant containers, and sports equipment. In addition, titanium implants, plates and prostheses are used in medicine.
SLS 3D printing technology vs EDM printing
In general, technology SLS and EBM are no different. Everywhere there is a layer-by-layer sintering of metal powder, but this is carried out through different processes. However, the use of electrical impulses and the highest level of precision in printing control allows achieving a higher degree of detail of metal objects when EBM printing.
The use of electromagnetic beams is also a more cost-effective technology compared to laser printing. EBM printer shows better performance due to faster printing compared to SLS. However, these technologies are used for different purposes, and they are suitable for printing with different materials.
APPLICATIONS FOR METAL PRINTING
Application in medicine
New 3D printing technologies using biocompatible powders allow the creation of orthopedic implants (such as hip, knee and shoulder joints), Hearing Aids , dental models , prostheses etc. Due to the high biocompatibility of titanium with living matter, it is precisely titanium that is used in the medical industry.
Modern space companies see prospects in the use of 3D metal printing to create parts for missiles … Company Spacex already launched a rocket into space Falcon 9 with a printed valve for the engine. It took only 2 days to create such a detail. , when with the usual method of manufacturing by means of casting, this process would take at least two months. In an industry where technology changes faster than a part can be cast, industrial metal 3D printers are becoming indispensable helpers.
Small batch production
Metal 3D printing is the best alternative to other small parts production methods … At the same time, the cost of funds and time for preparatory work is significantly reduced. In addition, it is unprofitable to carry out small-scale production in molds when it is possible to quickly and cheaply print them on a 3D printer.
Metal 3D printers are great for creating unique jewelry, including jewelry … During the firing process, the bonding agent evaporates and the resulting space is filled with bronze.
Such objects are distinguished by increased wear resistance, because they consist of 10-30% of bronze and 70-90% of steel. Modern printers allow you to create jewelry also from precious materials with a wall thickness of 1.5 mm.
The launch of multi-batch production is impossible without Prototyping. Of course, you can make a plastic prototype, but if the product itself is metal, then it is better to make a prototype out of metal.
In addition, making a prototype on a 3D printer will take less time than grooving a product, and the accuracy will be even higher. Such a prototype will allow evaluating the functionality of the product before starting production, and can also be used for presentations and exhibitions.
KLONA provides full range of services for 3 D-printing metal products – from 3D modeling to processing a printed product.