Ever since the inception of metal implementation, engineers have tried hard to come up with other unique methods for printing with metal.
FREMONT, CA: Metal 3D printing is treated as the apex of every 3D printing. Metal is the first thing that comes into consideration when people talk about strength and durability. Metal 3D printers generally fall into one of the following four categories:
• Powder bed fusion
• Binder jetting
• Direct energy deposition
• Material extrusion
Metal Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) includes DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), SLM (selective laser melting), and EBM (electron beam melting) machines. The metal parts generated by using PBF melting technology do not have residual stresses and internal imperfections, making it a perfect, demanding application introduced in the aerospace and automotive industries.
The classification of PBF metal 3D printers can get a little messy and mostly relates to the disparities between sintering and melting. Sintered parts carry high porosity and need heat treatments to be toughened, although they can never be as strong as a forged metal part. In sintering, the parts get attached well but leave behind significant gaps between them throughout the body. On the other hand, in a melting process, the particles are melted, and the body becomes a more cohesive solid mass without any visible voids.
Furthermore, medical professionals and surgeons also make use of such 3D printed metals for biocompatible implants, whereas the aerospace engineers utilize them to lessen the weight of aircraft, and the industrial manufacturers for custom tooling equipment.
Binder jetting can handle metal materials, sand, ceramic, and full-color objects and more with the technology. Binder jetting machines are much larger than powder bed fusion machines, and objects can be heaped to utilize the entirety of the build chamber, making it a popular choice for on-demand replacement parts and small-batch production runs.
Direct Energy Deposition (DED) 3D printing can work with metal wire or metal powder, and melting can be achieved with a plasma arc, laser, or electron beam. It is considered to be similar to welding, which makes it a primary application for repairing and adding features to existing metal parts.
Metal Material Extrusion was mainly created to make metal 3D printing cost-effective and more accessible. Businesses have rapidly implemented material extrusion with metal, primarily because it is affordable. Design studios and small manufacturers leverage metal material extrusion machines to iterate designs, create jigs and fixtures, and complete small production runs.