Metal 3D printers are incredibly hot right now. There are many 3D printers that work with steel and metal and often have relatively high prices because of its advanced technology.
There are also several companies offering steel printing services where you can order delivery models.
Which solution suits your business best?
In order to find out which solution suits your business, you first need to find out the price range, purpose and requirements.
On this page, you will learn more about the solution for metal prints that will suit your business.
The answer may range from not having to buy your own machine, but instead get rid of renting or ordering metal prints through other established companies that work with this particular.
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Metals and materials
3D printers that handle metals like steel, brass and bronze Have been a lot lately on the wallpaper, but how do they actually work?
When looking for affordable prices, stainless steel tends to be one of the cheapest and strongest metals for 3D printing.
This is also a versatile metal that is used for many art and design projects, but also in industrial contexts.
This metal is almost exclusively among industrial projects because it contains nickel and cobalt which gives it elastic properties while still hard to break.
One of the most widely used materials for metal prints is titanium, and then usually either Ti64or TiAl4V is used. Titanium has a versatility that is a very good feature as it can print different types of strengths.
It is used most today in the medical industry to manufacture prostheses, as well as in the automotive industry and the aerospace industry for the production of prototypes and parts.
Contains a very high specific strength, this metal alloy is most used to make dental implants, turbines and orthopedic implants. These are all applications where 3D printing has become a popular manufacturing method.
Aluminum is very light and versatile, making it a popular metal to use for 3D printing. It is primarily used for aluminum-based alloys.
Copper and bronze
Used mostly in casting processes for wax. Copper and bronze are usually not used in powder-based techniques and are not so advantageous choices for industrial end targets.
They are used more commonly in arts and crafts.
Gold, silver and other precious metals
Metals like gold, silver are mostly used by powder-based companies. This is a difficult process because the 3D printer needs to handle valuable powder while retaining the material’s properties.
3D prints of precious metals are used primarily for medical, jewelry and electronics applications.
Uses for metal prints
3D printer like working with metal usually has an industrial purpose. 3D printers who work with metal have done some of a revolution in many industries, such as industrial areas such as dentists, jewelry and pharmaceutical industries.
Most 3D printers that print metal objects have so far been manufactured for larger companies.Recently, manufacturers have begun to show interest in bringing this model to a broader consumer market.
Many smaller companies have many uses where metal prints have facilitated. All mechanics or engineers can easily print parts to machines or tools to support their work.
3D printers that work with metal – this is how it works
Printing metal objects works in the same way as printing plastic objects, but here are temperatures that are completely different than when printing in plastic.
The principle is the same; the printhead is spraying out layer of molten metal which solidifies and forms the same form as the digital model in the file sent to the 3D printer. The high temperature, of course, requires machines that have so far been at a significantly higher price level than those handling molten plastic.
Cheaper method with metal powder
There is also another method when printing metal that does not require the same high temperatures. Instead of molten metal, it is a metal powder used.
At the same time as the metal powder is sprayed, a lot of similar glue forms and bonds the layers of metal into a uniform mass. This is repeated in stock by stock until the entire print item is ready – a process that may take several hours.
This “call” method with metal powders can be performed by cheaper machines, but unfortunately it is not enough to print the item. In order for the model to be used at all, it must into a melting furnace with a temperature of about 175 degrees for 24 hours, just like ceramics.
After the model has been printed, it is porous and full of air, and it is the air spaces to be filled with molten metal in the furnace for the model to get stability.
Metal 3D printer for home use
Before 3D printers that handle metal become available to a broader clientele, of course, there is always the possibility to cast into molds, an old well-proven method that has been applied for centuries.
But printing some metal items right from the PC at home would undoubtedly be a lot easier – and more fun! When can you expect 3D printers that handle metal and are meant for ordinary home use?
Unfortunately, most metal printers are currently over a few million dollars, which is a high price for printing a few teaspoons and towel hooks. However, there are signs that metal 3D printer for home use could become reality within a not so distant future.
A company that has been widely talked about lately is American Shapeways which offers individuals the opportunity to print metal models with metal printers. We will see how long it takes and what the final price will be for the metal 3d printer for the home user. Until then, we can satisfy ourselves with other external methods.