Do you want to pursue additive manufacturing? Have you thought of everything?

Claim

  • The material used for traditional manufacturing may not be suited for 3D printing.
  • Adapting the alloy for additive manufacturing can improve both the component properties as well as the printing process.
  • New alloys specifically for 3D printing enable entirely new component properties or special properties at specific locations on the component.

  • The metal powder must suit the process and machine to achieve the desired material properties in the component.
  • For example, good powders are characterized by good fluidity properties and an precisely maintained particle size distribution.
  • Consistent powder quality from one batch to another is essential for a successful and reproducible printing process.

  • Optimized printing parameters enable either a high printing speed or very high dimensional accuracy.
  • Even if other components have already been successfully printed with the same material, printing parameters are only transferable to a limited extent.
  • Printing parameters can differ between printers from the same manufacturer and design.
  • Choosing the alignment for the component in building envelope is crucial for component properties later on.
  • Support structures and additional elements for heat dissipation must be planned carefully.
  • Simulating the print job saves time-consuming test runs and the unnecessary waste of metal powder.
  • The optimal strategy of laser or electron beam saves time and money and has a positive impact on the quality of results.

  • Additive manufacturing is especially suited for complex components generally manufactured in smaller batches.
  • The designer must master the design rules for 3D printing and consciously implement them to take advantage of the added value that additive manufacturing offers.
  • 3D printing provides extensive design freedom and enables entirely new concepts with regard to design, printing location and print time.
  • Through the use of bionics, components can be improved significantly in weight, strength and other properties.
  • Clever design can eliminate the need for support structures.
  • Closed hollow cavities that do not allow powder to be removed after printing should be avoided.

  • To achieve the desired component properties such as surface finish, density, etc., the components sometimes need to undergo post-processing.
  • For example, one form of post-processing is removing support structures that can be minimized through optimized component design.
  • Cost of post-processing can be saved, if you choose the best design, metal powder and optimized printing parameters.
  • Remember to print extra brackets for post-processing if needed.

  • Using support structures as sparingly as possible saves valuable metal powder.
  • Reusing leftover powder is strongly discouraged in cases of high quality requirements, or components that are operational or relevant to safety.
  • Mixing already printed powder with fresh powder can jeopardize a consistent powder composition.
  • Powder recycling enables a cost-effective printing process with predictable, consistent quality.
  • With powder recycling and the corresponding compensation, you only print the powder that you need for your component.
  • Optimized build envelope load saves manufacturing costs.

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