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How Does Metal 3D Printing Work?

Metal 3D Printing is a laser-based technology that uses powdered metals. Similar to Laser Sintering, a high-powered laser selectively binds together particles on the powder bed while the machine distributes even layers of metallic powder. Support structures are automatically generated and built simultaneously in the same material, and are later manually removed. Once complete, the part undergoes heat treatment.

Why choose Metal 3D Printing?

This technology combines the design flexibility of 3D Printing with the mechanical properties of metal. From tooling inserts with cooling channels to lightweight structures for aerospace, any application that involves complex metal parts potentially benefits from Metal 3D Printing.


Ideal applications for Metal 3D Printing

  • Fully functional prototypes
  • Production tools
  • Tooling such as molds and inserts
  • Rigid housings
  • Ductwork
  • Spare parts
  • Heat exchangers and heatsinks


Technical Specifications for Metal 3D Printing

Standard lead time :
- Minimum of 10 working days, depending on part size, number of components and finishing degrees

Standard accuracy :
-  ± 0.2% (with lower limit on ± 0.2 mm)

Minimum wall thickness :
- 0.5 – 1 mm

Layer thickness  :
- AlSi10Mg: 0.03 – 0.1 mm
- TiAl6V4: 0.03 – 0.06 mm
- 316L (1.4404): 0.03 – 0.1 mm

Maximum part dimensions     :
- Dimensions are unlimited as components may be composed of several sub-parts. The maximum build envelope is 500 x 280 x 345 mm

Surface structure :
-Unfinished parts typically have a rough surface but various finishing degrees can achieve smooth surfaces

Materials for Metal 3D Printing

Titanium (TiAl6V4)

TiAl6V4, one of the widest-known alloys in Metal 3D Printing, combines excellent mechanical properties with very low specific weight. This material is corrosion-resistant and used in a variety of demanding engineering environments such as aeronautics. Applications include functional prototypes, solid end-use parts, medical devices and spare parts.

Aluminum (AlSi10Mg)
AlSi10Mg is an aluminum alloy that combines good strength and thermal properties with low weight and flexible post-processing possibilities. For those reasons, it’s an often used material in automotive, aerospace and automation. Applications include housings, ductwork, engine parts, production tools and molds, both for prototyping and manufacturing purposes.

Stainless Steel (316L or 1.4404)
316L, a low-carbon alloy of stainless steel also known as 1.4404, is highly corrosion-resistant and offers excellent strength. 3D-printed stainless steel has high ductility and good thermal properties. Stainless steel can be used for food-safe applications, machine components and production tools. Other applications include ductwork, durable prototypes, spare parts, medical instruments and wearables.