Metal additive manufacturing, also known as selective laser melting(SLM), is the accelerator of the future industry, and provides much more freedom to achieve the highly complex metal parts which were completely impossible to be made by commom processes. Metal additive manufacturing is now developing rapidly as the advancement of material research. The approach offers the best-in-breed solution for building low-volumen metal parts for prototypes or end-use.
What is Metal 3D Printing
Metal 3D printing is an additive manufacturing technology to create fully functional metal parts, mostly with high complex geometry. A range of metal materials can be used in metal printing to get the end-use parts.
3D metal printing is widely used in various applications becasuse of the excellent part properties. In the aerospace and medical industries use the 3D metal printing to gain the complex parts to save the cost and money. Also, metal additive is popular used to build the prototypes to check the structure in automotive and tooling.
How Works the Process of SLM 3D Printing
SLM (Selective Laser Melting) is an additive manufacturing method specially developed for 3D printing metal alloys. In the complete melting process the metal powder particles will be fused layer by layer together. The metal powders is completely melted in the SLM printing, which requires higher temperatures than other metal printing process. To create better melting conditions, the chamber is filled with an inert gas, such as argon or nitrogen, to prevent the causing of sheets of oxidation to form.
SLM 3D printing is currently the main process to create high performance metal 3D parts in market. SLM has some advantages to create complex metal parts and prototyping in quick way, which the traditional processes can not easily achieve.
Common Materials for 3D Metal Printing
Unlike CNC machining the 3D metal printing, SLM or DMLS, is a additive manufacturing having a big advantage of reducing the material waste. It is essential for some expensive metal materials such as copper and titanium. Indeed, 3D metal printing process need a minimal amount of metal materials, which are also reusable, to create the complex metal parts.
Additionally, metal additive manufacturing offers more design possibilities for complex geometical shapes, which make it easier, the density and light weight also the functional performance to optimize. Some popular metal powder used in the 3d printing process, Tool steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminium, cobalt chromium alloy, nickel alloys, copper alloys, and some pricious metal like gold, silver and platinum.
3D metal printing allow you to make the low-volumen production, which are difficult to be produce by normal process. In this case, metal printing is cost-effective than other methodes. But for mass production without mould, the cost of metal AM is enormous high with the reason that it is time and energy intensive in the process.
To gain the clear idea of metal printing costs you need to consider four main cost, metal powders, metal 3D manufacuring and the post-processing stage, of cause depending on the size and complex of the parts.
Due to its unique process of metal 3D printing, the ultra complex part can be achieved and truly optimized rather than limited by traditional manufacturing constraints.
The cost per printed metal part is consistent at low and high volumes, especially for low-volume production, it has a great price advantage, mainly because 3d printing does not require mold making.
the 3D printed metal part performance and function can be strongly improve via the conformal cooling, hollowed lattice structures. Optimized form allows to maintain their same strength and load requirements while grately reducing the weight.
In the stage of development using the metal 3D printing to check out and optimize the product can shorten the whole development cycle without tooling, which means you bring the products into market quickly.
To meed the increasing of customized needs in the market makes the metal 3D printing more and more popular, industries such as high-end bicycle frames, electric auto parts, and special robot parts. 3D Metal additive manufacturing provides a perfect solution, because metal 3D printing process is flexibel and shorter, which improves the efficiency of product development. With the maturity of SLM technology and the reduction of costs, the mass production with metal 3D printing becomes possible in the future.
Why Exzellenc for Your Metal 3D Printing Service
Exzellenc works with research institutes, specializing on the selective laser melten SLM since 2018, with KNOW-HOW of metal additive manufacturing and metal powder technologies.
Exzellenc's in metal AM team are composed of university professors and professional technicians, from research into industrial applications, accelorate the metal AM industry.
Only focus on cutting-edge metal part manufacturing, using metal 3D printing and CNC machining to offer our customers the best manufacturing solutions.
Innovation-driven gives us endless posibilities to change the future of manufacturing.