Overcoming Metal 3D Printing Misconceptions

As metal 3D printing matures, making the technology more mainstream is by educating people on the true potentials and limitations. 

FREMONT, CA: Metal 3D printing, or metal additive manufacturing, is all set to drive the 3D printing sector in the coming decade. It attracts industry leaders and governments and sees a lot of investment, innovation, and research. With the invention of advanced technologies, new material development and qualification, and continuous improvements in the supporting software solutions right from designing, build preparation, monitoring, scheduling, and post-processing. The minimal understanding of metal 3D printing potentials and limitations remains one of the vital challenges to the significant adoption of the technology. Misconceptions have emerged around the technology only add fuel to this. Let's take a look at a few of the common myths surrounding metal 3D printing.

Metal 3D Printing is Expensive

Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) can be a costly technology to implement. Some metal AM systems can cost around a million dollars, making them affordable only to leading enterprises. That said, some companies recognize that this kind of capital investment is out of the question for smaller firms and have specifically developed 3D printers at a price point below $200,000. Such systems are aimed at democratizing metal 3D printing, unearthing the technology for broader markets. What makes this method more affordable is the cheaper component required to manufacture a printer and lower operating costs, allowing cheaper metal injection molding materials.

Metal AM Systems are Similar

Another significant misconception is that all metal 3D printers are similar. In reality, there are several key metal 3D printing technologies, each with its unique needs and functionality. Even within the same technology group, 3D printers can differ substantially. Take metal Powder Bed Fusion (PBF), the process where metal powders are fused layer-by-layer by a powerful heat source, as an example. Althought the key idea behind PBF remains the same, there are unique takes on the technology. Overall, the metal 3D printing landscape is complex and can be difficult to keep track of.

Suitable only for Low-Volume Production

Metal 3D printing is a go-to technology when looking to generate small volumes of parts. However, its potentials don't end there. Some metal 3D printers, based on binder jetting technology, can accommodate medium to large batches of parts. The metal 3D printing company developed a patented Intelligent Layering technology, which allows high-volume, repeatable, and automated production for metal parts.

Check this Out : Top Metals and Mining Solution Companies