3D Metal Printing



3D Metal Printing

Introduction

Metal 3D printing is a futuristic technology that produces impossible-to-make parts directly from your CAD data. Advantages to this process include the ability to produce strong, complex geometries, internal lattice structures, conformal cooling channels and other features that cannot be made with traditional machining.

Parts can be made quickly with a minimum of material waste making them ideal for next-generation engineering in aerospace, medical, automotive and other industries.

How it works ?

3D printers turn your CAD designs into real parts by building them layer by layer .

The Process consists of 3 Simple Components:

3D Printing Software :

 3D printing relies on a fully-automated software system that controls everything from gantry position to material deposition. These systems vary significantly, but all have the same core elements.

 

3D printing materials 

Material selection dictates both the mechanical properties of the final part and the specifics of the printing process required to fabricate it. Application constraints come first when selecting a material—however, fabrication constraints can equally make or break your part.

 

3D printing process: Dictated by software, this is the physical process by which the 3D printers deposit material layer-by-layer in the shape of a part. The specifics of this process impact part quality, precision, and print time


Bound Metal Deposition

Introduction

In Magna Digitech we use a Metal 3D Printing Process called Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) extrudes bound metal rods—similar to how an FDM printer works. Bound Metal Deposition works by first extruding rods of bound metal to form “green” parts layer by layer.

This eliminates the safety requirements often associated with metal 3D printing while enabling new features like the use of closed-cell infill for lightweight strength

How it Works

Metal Printing : Bound Metal Deposition, is an extrusion-based metal additive manufacturing (AM) process where metal components are created by extrusion of a powder-filled thermoplastic media. Metal powder that is sustained together by both wax and polymer binder. They are then heated and extruded onto the build plate. This shapes the part layer by layer.  

 

Debinding : The polymer & wax binder in the metal parts is now removed by the Debinder making it ready for sintering.

 

 

Sintering :

The parts are then sintered resulting in densifying the metal & fusing of  metal particles together causing the part to densify up to 98-99.8% resulting in properties superior to casted parts.

Advantages

Parameter

Bound Metal Deposition

Other Additive Metal Printing

Optimization

Light weight due to closed cell infill parts

Fully closed cell infill parts not possible

Simplified Complexity

Ceramic interface media separation makes support removal easy

Support removal often requires machining

Widened Capability

Sintered to a variety of hardness & toughness levels

No sintering carried out

Quality Improved

  • Metal parts densified up to 98-99.8%

  • Properties superior to casted parts

The deterioration of the laser power & beam shifts while travelling through the fumes creates uneven bonding , loss in accuracy

Choice of Material widened

17-4 PH SS, 316L SS, H13 , 4140 Steel utilized in Day-to-day projects

Rarely used metals like cobalt chrome, nickel alloy, and titanium

Cost Reduced

No wastage of loose metal powders

Wastage of loose metal powders

Lead Time

Less number of secondary process &  lead time

Secondary process like wire EDM to be followed

Stress relieving

No residual stresses

High residual stresses, stress relieving is must

Safe & Environment Friendly

  • No Hazardous powders

  • No Dangerous lasers

  • No Cutting tools

The hazardous powders, dangerous fumes , lasers and cutting tools makes the process a risk to both human operation and environment


Materials

17-4 ph stainless steel

17-4 PH stainless steel is a precipitation hardening steel used in a wide range of industrial applications including those with mildly corrosive environments and high-strength requirements.
Applications
  • Manufacturing machinery
  • Chemical processing
  • Food processing
  • Pump components
  • Valves
  • Fasteners
  • Jigs and fixtures

316L stainless steel

Characterized by its corrosion resistance and performance at both high and low temperatures, 316L stainless steel is a fully austenitic steel ideal for harsh environments.
Applications
  • Chemical and petrochemical processing
  • Food processing
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Marine
  • Jewelry

H13 Tool steel

Characterized by its hardness and abrasion resistance, H13 tool steel is a hot work steel with exceptional hot hardness, resistance to thermal fatigue cracking, and stability in heat treatment—making it an ideal metal for both hot work and cold work tooling applications.
Applications
  • Extrusion dies
  • Injection molds
  • Hot forging dies
  • Die casting cores, inserts and cavities

4140 steel

One of the most versatile steels, 4140 steel is characterized by its toughness, high fatigue strength, and abrasion and impact resistance, making it a great all-purpose steel for industrial applications.
Applications
  • Jigs and fixtures
  • Automotive
  • Bolts/Nuts
  • Gears
  • Steel couplings

Copper

Characterized by its electrical and thermal conductivity and ductility, Copper is ideal for electrical equipment, plumbing, and heat transfer application.
Applications
  • Consumer and industrial electronics
  • Heat exchangers
  • Antennas
  • Inductors

Alloy 625

Alloy 625 is a nickel-based superalloy characterized by its hardness and abrasion resistance as well as its performance at high temperatures, making it suitable for the most extreme environments.

Applications
  • Jet engines
  • Navy marine applications
  • Submarines
  • Aerospace
  • Extreme environment applications
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Substitute for tool steel
  • Heat treat applications
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3d printing

The parts are printed directly by our Bound Metal Deposition printer layer by layer, which involves extrusion of bound metal rods. This ensures production of parts with quick development time, assuring design freedom.

Sintering

Sintering causes the metal particles to densify thereby creating a solid structure  the part is heated to temperatures near melting, the remaining binder is removed and metal particles fuse together causing the part to densify up to 98%. The parts are now ready to use..

Debinding

The part is then immersed in debinding fluid, dissolving primary binder and creating an open-pore channel structure throughout the part, preparing it for sintering.

Part Design

Based on the inputs from the 3D model, various design aspects like thickness, tolerances, metal characteristics are analyzed & the files for metal printing are prepared through Studio System Software generating supports and control parameters .

Finishing

Magna Digitech’s finishing services includes Hand finishing, Grit blasting, Shotblasting, Vibropolishing, REM’s  ISF® (Isotropic Super Finishing) process.

Machining

To meet your specific needs Magna Digitech can provide close tolerance finishing with our technology suite of machining simulation software, modular fixturing, 5 Axis Machining Centre and CMM.