The Three Steps of 3D Printing Process

The three steps of 3D metal printing help it offer a safe and cost-efficient metal additive manufacturing process. 

FREMONT, CA: For both technology and industry, Metal 3D printing opens an entirely new field of production capabilities. It removes the need for spending on machines, which significantly lowers the cost per component and offers geometric independence by additive processes. In addition, 3D metal printing enables automation, as printers can automatically generate parts from design files. Cutting-edge manufacturers are now using the technology to test metal 3D quickly printed parts or print-on-demand replacement parts.

Step 1: Print

In CAD, where they design the component, every 3D printed portion begins. After that, they export to STL and upload to Eiger. Eiger is a slicing and print management system based on the cloud, which comes with every Markforged product. The component is configured automatically by Eiger depending on the material and printer they are using for the task.

Through each step of the operation, Eiger also tracks the metal part's progress. It's time to switch to the metal 3D printer itself, the Metal X, after planning the print with printing software. The Metal X automatically maps and levels the print bed before starting a print that uses a unique nozzle touch-off mechanism to ensure accurate printing of the first layer. The print is made from two materials stored at the top of the printer in a heated chamber. The metal is the first substance, and the second is a ceramic release.

Step 2: Wash

The first stage of the binding material is removed by Markforged's Wash-1 in the wash stage. The green portion is removed from the printer and put into the washing basket, then decreased into the solvent.

During this process, washing times can differ from a few hours to a few days, depending on your city's thickest region. They have a brown section after the washing is complete. They then turn to the method of sintering.

Step 3: Sinter

Sintering converts a brown component into a total metal component. The temperature is steadily ramped up to burn away the trace quantities of residual binding content to do this. As the temperature surges closer to the material's melting point, the metal particles fuse to develop a solid metal component.

The Markforged Sinter-2 is a furnace developed for production runs of mid-volume and larger printed components. To ensure component quality and alloy composition requirements for finished parts are met, the Sinter-2 and other Markforged sintering furnaces utilizes a carbon-free retort.