Alumide

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Overview

On this page you will find all of the information, tips, and tricks for a 3D print in alumide. Specifically you’ll find information on:

General information

Alumide


Objects printed in alumide are made from a mix of polyamide powder and fine aluminum particles. The raw material makes for a matte surface which is somewhat porous and shiny. Alumide is no more or less durable than polyamide. In fact, their physical properties are very similar. This makes for great freedom in your designs - allowing for both complex and inclosed volumes.

Processing times and pricing

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object (changing size, using hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including: volume of material used, size of object, and multiple other factors.

The shipping delay for an alumide object is 6-7 days. This time can vary depending on the current volume of orders being processed. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded.

Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.

Printing techniques


Sculpteo uses a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for all alumide prints. After your design is uploaded to the Sculpteo website, it undergoes a couple steps before it is physically created:

  • Model transferred to 3D printer
  • Once you transfer your 3D model and submit your order on our website, it is received by a Sculpteo team member, who expertly places the model into the next available batch. The object is then printed through one of our EOS P395.

  • Object is 3D printed
  • SLS uses a highly specific laser that sinters thin layers of our alumide powder together one layer at a time. After each round of lasering, the printing bed is lowered and another layer of powder is evenly swept across the top for another round of sintering. This process is repeated until the object is completed.

  • Object is removed from batch
  • After the printer cools, the block of sintered powder is removed from printer and the printed objects are removed by hand. A part of the powder that was not sintered is recycled back into the printer for a future print.

  • Brushing and sandblasting
  • The object is then brushed, which removing a large portion of the powder, and sandblasted, which removes the fine powder that the brush may have missed.

Uses and maintenance


Alumide offers great flexibility for a 3D print, especially complex models, as it is durable, and not too expensive. As a result, it can be use for ornamental object that require metallic appearance or mechanical parts which are subject to low stresses.

With regards to water qualities, alumide is water-resistant but not waterproof. Thus the 3D object must not rest in contact with water for extended periods of time. In terms of temperature, if the alumide is subjected to heat above 120°C (248°F), it is possible that the physical form of the object can significantly altered.

As a result of their rough surface, objects in alumide quickly become dirtied. This can often be remedied with soapy water and a cloth, letting it dry thoroughly.

Design guides

Printing Resolutions

Layer Thickness 150 µm

Our alumide 3D printer, the EOS P395 gives us a layer precision of 150 µm (0.15mm).

Size limitations

Maximum size 300 mm x 300 mm x 500 mm (11.81 in x 11.81 in x 19.68 in)

alumide size

The maximum size of your models are limited by the physical size of our 3D printers - nothing can be printed larger than the printer bed.

To be printed your object must also respect the minimum size for alumide. Those minimum dimensions are 1 mm x 1 mm x 1 mm.


Minimum thickness and geometry of your 3D model

Minimum wall thickness 1 mm
Minimum wall thickness for particular design aspects 2 mm

alumide thickness

The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the structure will not break. If the walls of your model are less than 1 mm, we recommand you thicken them or add a support structure to maintain stability.

For an object that is sure to be solid, a minimum thickness of 2 mm is recommended.

Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and clic on “Verification” tab.

It is also important to keep in mind that the object is to be printed in a physical form. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break - even though it is possible with the physics provided within the 3D printing program. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.

Do not forget

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, part supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc.. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thicken.



Etching and embossing

Minimum size of details 1 mm
Minimum size of text 1 mm
Enlargement ratio 1/1


alumide details

A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined the resolution of our printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for a detail and text to be visible we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least. To ensure a better powder removal (thus a better detail precision), the width of your details must be at least as big as depth.


Enclosed and interlocked volumes

Enclosed parts ? Yes
Interlocking parts ? Yes

PA details

Our alumide material has the ability to be printed in the some complex designs. An example of a complex design is a volume enclosed within another volume or with articulations. Our alumide 3D printers have the ability to print in a fully interlocked object out of the printer, with no support structures to remove.


Minimum spacing and clearance

Minimum spacing between fixed walls 0,5 mm
Minimum clearance between parts 0,5 mm

alumide details

For a successful 3D print a minimum clearance between objects is required to allow excess material to be sand blown out. If this space is not left within the design, the object will be a solid. This is particularly important for articulated objects - as the space left between the walls will define the object’s ability to move.

Clearance should be at least 0.5 mm and depends on your objects size. For big sizes, the clearance should be greater. The heated zone of your object depends on the size, the larger the object the more time it will be exposed to high temperature : if the space left between the walls is too small, it will be weld because of heat spreading.

Piece assembly

Assembly ? Yes
Minimum space 0,5 mm

Alumide details

Objects printed in alumide can be printed to be assembled. As long as a width of at least 0.5 mm is left between the different parts of the object.


Hollowing

Hollowing ? Yes

alumide details

Our online hollowing optimization tool has the ability to greatly reduce the price of a print by reducing the amount of material used.

Using the tool requires adding two holes to your model, which will serve as the drain for the excess powder material within the object. The minimum size of these holes is determined by our website. Otherwise it is possible to hollow your object manually in your 3D modeling software.


Files with multiple objects

Files with multiple objects ? No

silver multishell

This is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with alumide.

Technical specifications

Mechanical Properties Conditions Unit Value
Density of laser-sintered part EOS-Method g/cm3 1.35 ± 0.05
Tensile Modulus DIN EN ISO 527 N/mm2 3600 ± 150
Tensile strength DIN EN ISO 527 N/mm2 45 ± 3
Elongation at break DIN EN ISO 527 % 3 ± 0.5
Melting point DIN 53736 °C min. 172 / max. 180

To learn more about alumide technical specifications, refer to alumide datasheet.


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