Additive Manufacturing with Metals. Systems and Solutions for End-to-End 3D Printed Metal Part Production.
As an industrial production method, 3D printing offers tremendous design and manufacturing freedom. The most complex of shapes can be designed and produced in the highest quality, quickly and cost-efficiently, even for small batch sizes. In this way, the process provides a solution to a tooling challenge faced by many tool and mould makers.
In many industries, producing specialized tools and parts is one of the most resource-intensive manufacturing processes. Conventional processes are typically expensive, time-consuming and technically very challenging. The metal 3D printing process is the answer.
Series Production Metal Additive Manufacturing
Metal-based additive manufacturing covers a range of technologies; Powder Bed Fusion (PBF), Metal Binder Jetting (Powder-fed Directed-energy Deposition), and Laser Cladding. DMLS® (Direct Metal Laser Solidification) is the proven PBF technology for cost-efficient production of high-quality metal parts, in series-production metal 3D printing.
DMLS technology is primarily used for series manufacturing in demanding industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, tool, and turbomachinery. These industries require certification, reliability, repeatability, and uniform part quality comparable to conventional CNC, metal casting, or forging processes. It is better suited to production requiring a high degree of automation and scaling than Metal Binder Jetting and Laser Cladding.
Metal 3D Printers by EOS – Flexible and Cost-Efficient Production of High-Quality Metal Parts
Rapid 3D is the Certified Partner for EOS in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa. EOS has over 30 years of DMLS expertise in the combination and interdependencies between high-quality metal powders, process parameters, and systems.
EOS 3D printers are available from entry-level models for small and delicate parts to multi-laser machines capable of series-production 3D printing at industrial scales. These metal 3D printers can be flexibly automated and integrated into existing production environments.
EOS metal systems employ validated processes, unique in industrial metal 3D printing, and the most comprehensive portfolio of metal materials, including aluminium, cobalt chrome, case hardening steels, copper, nickel alloys, precious metals, biocompatible titanium, refractive metals, stainless steel and tool steels.
EOS’ Quality Triangle – gives you confidence that each AM part is built with integrity, and that support can be provided for all industries and applications.
For more clarity and transparency, EOS has adapted the well-known Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) for 3D printing – unique in the industry. Giving you certifiability, regulatory compliance, and lot traceability.
In-house 3D Printed Metal Part Production
Many manufacturing and service operations require custom, low volume tooling, jigs, and fixtures. Applications include custom design tooling, rapid prototyping of metal parts, bringing low volume metal part production in-house, and producing replacement parts on-demand.
Having in-house metal 3D printing capabilities helps manufacturers bring products to market quicker, reduce their manufacturing costs, simplify their external supply chains and the associated intellectual property risks.
For factory floors, manufacturers can benefit from tooling design innovations enabled by 3D printing, eliminate tooling spend, and keep production lines going with 3D-print-on-demand replacement parts.
Metal X 3D Printer by Markforged – In-house End-to-End Metal 3D Printing Solution
Rapid 3D is the Certified Partner for Markforged in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa.
The Markforged Metal X, an affordable metal 3d printer for the workshop. It can print an injection mould in about a day and a half. You can take a 20-year-old injection mould, put a 3D-printed insert into it and you can retool it in under a week.
The Metal X delivers metal parts overnight using an FDM based technology — ADAM; Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing that uses a bound metal powder rod that transforms into a dense metal part.
This technology can be used to create anything from tooling to industrial replacement parts to injection moulds to working prototypes. It’s also possible to 3D print moving assemblies.
Due to the nature of powder bed processes, it’s difficult to engineer completely sealed hollow parts. The powder needs an exit point (a hole) so that, once the print is complete, the powder is not trapped within the printed component.
The ADAM process uses a binder that can be burned away. It is therefore possible to print closed objects with complex internal geometries, such as hexagon (honeycomb) infill patterns, which can significantly lighten the weight of a part, while maintaining structural integrity. This geometry is not possible using traditional subtractive manufacturing processes or powder bed fusion (PBF).
The ADAM technology is up to one fifth the price of competitive metal additive manufacturing technologies — and up to a 100x less than traditional fabrication technologies like machining or casting.