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Metal 3D printing

Metal 3D Printing materials are metal powders that machines can additively print solid parts, usually raw materials or metal composites. As metal 3D Printing belongs to metal powder additive manufacturing, whether the metal powders can be used with the technology depends on adhesion of the materials when the printer is melting and fusing them together. Printability of the metal powders is what matters most. For example, steels are easily bonded, making it the available and accessible materials for 3D Printing metal parts.

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3D Printing Metal Materials

Utilize metal 3D Printing to produce durable metal parts. Metal 3D Printing is an ideal manufacturing solution for various applications and fast metal prototypes. We offer on-demand metal 3D Printing services.

All Materials Description
material-3d-metal-aluminum Aluminum High machinability and ductility, good strength-to-weight ratio.

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material-3d-metal-stainless-steel Stainless Steel High tensile strength, corrosion and temperature resistant.

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material-3d-metal-mold-steel Mold steel High machinability and weldability, high stiffness.

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Types of Metal 3D Printing

Mainly, there are 4 types of metal 3D Printing technologies in the industry, including powder be fusion, material jetting, binder jetting, and direct energy deposition. The widely used metal 3D Printing technology is powder bed fusion, in which Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are the most common techniques.

Both DMLS and SLM are using laser energy to fuse metal powder together and produce metal prototypes rapidly. Manufacture metal parts with complex geometries through DMLS/ SLM is feasible. A variety of metal powders can be used, such as titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, steels, etc.

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Metal 3D Printing Process

Take SLM 3D Printing as an example, the printing process can be divided into six steps:

Step1

Prepare CAD files for the metal parts, and export the files as STL file format.

Convert STL files into G-code through slicer program, so that the metal 3D printer can read and understand.

Step2

Set parameters on the metal 3D printer.

Parameters such as layer thickness, laser energy, and supports, etc. The first layer is rolling down by the powder roller, while the laser light selects an area and melt and fuse the materials together.

Step3

The process repeats until final parts are shaped.

The printing bed is moving downward, and the roller rolls down a new layer of material, and the laser light keeps working on the selective area.

Step4

Cooling Down

Takes time for cooling down build chamber.

Step5

Unpacking

Take the parts out of build chamber and remove residual powders on the printed parts.

Step6

Post-processing

Send the printed parts to post-processing for better surface, higher hardness, higher mechanical properties, etc.

Why Choose Metal 3D Printing?

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Enable to make metal parts with complex geometries. Fabricating parts with complex curves, shapes, or cavities are easier than traditional manufacturing methods.

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Enhance production efficiency. Fast metal 3D Printing prototyping your parts, and shorten production cycle.

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Reduce manufacturing cost. Metal 3D Printing provides a versatile and rapid prototyping method to create metal parts and allows lower investment on tooling, fixtures, and labor.

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When parts require lightweight design, metal 3D Printing is highly suitable. Printing specific materials to achieve lightweight design is available, for example, aluminum alloys.

Metal 3D Printing Service at Wenext

We offer SLM metal 3D Printing service with a wide range of materials available.

SLM, Selective Laser Melting, can directly produce complex metal parts close to full density. It is a process of using metal powder to be completely melted and fused under the heat of laser light, the part is solidified layer by layer and eventually build a solid part.

With powerful manufacturability, you high quality SLM printed parts will be delivered in short lead time.

Capabilities
Process Maximum Printing Size Lead Time Tolerance Minimum Layer Thickness
SLM 320*320*400mm 7 Business Days ± 200μm or 0.2%mm 1 mm

* For expedited lead times or parts that exceed the maximum printing size contact hello@wenext.com

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What metal materials can 3D print?

The most common metals for 3D printing are stainless steels, tool steels, titanium, aluminum and specialty alloys, such as Inconel, cobalt chromium, copper and more.

2. What applications metal 3D Printing used for?

Functional metal prototypes, lightweight designs, custom tools, low-volume end-use parts, high-end components for aerospace and automotive industry, etc.

3. What is the cost of a metal 3D printed part?

Generally, the cost of a metal 3D printed part depends on printing speed, part complexity, type of printing material, and post-processing.

4. Are metal 3D printed parts as strong as traditionally manufactured metal parts?

In general, metal 3D printed parts can be as strong as traditionally manufactured metal parts, especially when using SLM to produce metal components. SLM fabricates metal parts with high material performance and high mechanical properties.

5. What are the limitations of metal 3D Printing?

a. Adding structures to avoid collapsing is necessary. Due to the complex design, removing the support structures in narrow and deep areas are extreme difficult.

b. How to reduce porosity while guarantee density of metal 3D printed parts can be a challenge.

c. Dedicated post-processing like annealing is necessary as residual stress is a common issue of metal 3D printed parts.

d. Surface finish might be rough and pitted.

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