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Aluminum parts are produced with Selective Laser Melting technology. This metal is a composite of aluminum (90%), silicone (7%) and magnesium (0.6%). It has good mechanical properties and can be exposed to high voltages. The advantages of Aluminium is durability and lightweight.
This material is used for DMLS 3D printing. It is a mix of iron (66-70%), chrome (16-18%), nickel (11-14%) and molybdenum (2-3%). Its outstanding properties are strong resistance against corrosion, high ductility, and smoothness. Thanks to that, Stainless Steel 316L is widely used in the medical, automotive and aerospace industry.
Titanium parts are also manufactured through the DMLS process. It is composed of titanium (88-90%), aluminum (5.5-6.5%) and vanadium (3.5-4.5%). This 3D printing metal has an excellent melting point (1660°C), low toxicity, great mechanical properties and is lightweight. Titanium is the true 3D printing material for tough jobs.
If you decide to use this 3D printing metal, you need to know that it’s fine stainless steel (60%), manufactured through Binder Jetting technology, and later enriched with bronze (40%) to achieve additional strength and resistance. Steel/ Bronze 420SS/BR has fairly good mechanical properties, however, it can not withstand as much stress as parts produced through the DMLS process. It is recommended for more decorative objects.
Stainless Steel 316
It’s important not to mistake this Stainless Steel 316 (Binder Jetting) with Stainless Steel 360L (DMLS). As those materials are used for different 3D printing technologies. This metal is more precise and better suited to produce small, high-quality objects. Stainless Steel 360 presents high resistance against corrosion and high temperature, which makes it a good candidate for manufacturing tooling, molds and to be used in the consumer goods industry.
For decorative purposes, there is also a selection of 3 precious metals: Sterling Silver, Brass and Bronze. They are all used for Lost-Wax Casting. They all will produce high-quality and complex geometries, which finds applications mostly in jewelry businesses. Sterling Silver and Brass also offers platings, which allows for more options when it comes to the looks of your projects.
Now that you know why should you consider metal 3D printing for your production, you know the technologies and materials, we should talk about how to implement Additive Manufacturing.
First of all, you need a 3D model. They can be downloaded from the internet, however, you probably need something custom made. Therefore you need to contact an online 3D printing service or learn 3D modeling. We explained what’s the difference between CAD and 3D modeling software and also we’ve got for you to check out the easiest 3D modeling software and Top 25 of free CAD software.
Once you have the model, it’s important to understand what is the best 3D printing file format, the importance of its resolution and which tools you can repair your model if such need occurs. We would advise you to use STL files as they are the most common.
Once your 3D file is ready, you have solutions to consider. You can invest in the best industrial metal 3D printer or use an online 3D printing service which will enable for you affordable metal 3D printing. The latter one is a comfortable and secure way without your company bankrupting by buying a metal 3D printer and paying an expert to run it.
Using an online 3D printing service is as simple as uploading your 3D file to a website and getting an instant quote. If you’re planning to produce whole batches, it might be beneficial for you to contact the sales department to discuss your production options.
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