We briefly zoom in on 3D metal printing, a technology that produces three-dimensional parts layer by layer from a metal-based material. The method relies on digital data being send to a machine that then builds the component.
The 3D metal printing market is developing quickly. Complex components that would not have been possible just a few years ago, can now be made to high standards using a wide range of metal powders. The variety of materials available for 3D metal printing is continuously expanding. The most common materials for laser melting processes (as shown in the table) are Stainless Steels, Aluminum, Nickel, Cobalt, Chrome and Titanium Alloys. This wide variety of materials offers the user a good possibility of choosing the right material to achieve the specifications of the product.
Material properties such as tensile strength, hardness and elongation are important and often used as reference points for the decision about the right material. Markets adopting 3D metal printing include aerospace, automotive, drones, medical and dental equipment.
We are always looking for interesting applications for metals. We think the future for 3D metal printing looks bright. It is faster than conventional methods, at just a fraction of the costs.