Which Metal Should You Choose For 3D Printing Prototyping?
If you’re designing a metal prototype of a part or product, choose a manufacturing process that can build it using the same material. In 3D printing prototyping, you can consider the process of direct metal laser sintering, which can build parts from different metal materials one layer at a time. DMLS 3D printing is an industrial 3D printing technology that sinters metal powders together. This way, it can create highly complex shapes when other manufacturing methods can’t.
However, you need to know the best metals that can be used for your project. Choosing the correct metal will ensure optimum results and an effective prototyping process that will improve your chances of success.
Which metals can be used in DMLS 3D printing prototyping?
Reputable manufacturers offer a range of materials, such as titanium, stainless steel, tool steel, copper, and aluminum. These metals come with various properties, making them ideal for a range of applications. For instance, if you require prototypes of steam turbine parts, pipes, or valves; stainless steel can be a good option for offering outstanding corrosion resistance.
Metals to avoid in DMLS 3D printing
Any metal may be used in 3D printing if it can be supplied as an appropriate powder. However, materials that burn instead of melt at high temperatures should be avoided as they cannot be melted safely or sintered. That said, they may be practical when made into a filament and extruded through a nozzle for fused deposition modeling (FDM), another 3D printing technology.
Benefits of 3D printing with DMLS
Direct metal laser sintering is a versatile 3D printing prototyping technology that lets you build functional metal prototypes and parts with complex shapes or geometries. It’s used extensively in the medical, automotive, and aerospace industries for fulfilling part consolidation and weight-saving application requirements. Creating prototypes and low-volume end-use parts out of 3D printing metals are typically detailed but not necessarily structurally sound.