AMS Spring 2023

i.materialise Unveils Their Latest Metal-Based 3D Printing Material: Aluminum

6K SmarTech

Share this Article

imaterialiseWhen they’re not busy 3D printing components for lawnmowers or teaching their consumers how to optimize their jewelry design, the Belgium-based 3D printing service bureau i.materialise is usually enhancing and expanding upon their vast range of readily available materials. After recently adding Chrome-Plated Brass and Gray Smooth Detail Resin to their extensive list of material options, which consists of 21 different materials and over 100 possible color and finish combinations, i.materialise is now introducing a new member to their 3D printing material family. For the first time in i.materialise’s history, the 3D printing service bureau will offer aluminum material, the freshest addition to their 3D printed metal roster, which includes titanium and steel.

Their newly unveiled 3D printed aluminum is ideal for producing parts that are both strong and lightweight, particularly useful for functional and spare parts, as well as jewelry. The 3D printed aluminum that i.materialise is now offering has a slightly more matte appearance in comparison to traditionally milled aluminum, and is a tad bit rougher around the edges too.

3d-printing-in-aluminum

To print their new aluminum material, the 3D printing service bureau utilizes their direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) system. The process is comprised of a high-powered laser beam, which sinters and solidifies the initial layer of metal-based powder into the pre-selected design. After the first layer of powder is sintered together, a roller is then used to evenly spread a new layer of powder onto the bed. This process is repeated until the object has been fully built, and once the print is complete, the 3D printed model is then lifted from the powder bed. In order to optimize the prints ordered in their aluminum-based powder, i.materialise has released a number of design tips alongside the announcement of their latest material.

aluminum-3d-printFirst off, the aluminum material is capable of approaching extremely small levels of detail (as little as .25mm). But, there are important aspects to keep in mind in order to maximize the potential of the aluminum material. For instance, the minimum wall thickness you can use for small surfaces is 0.5mm, while larger-scale objects should be increased to 1mm. The DMLS system enables high dimensional accuracy for the aluminum material, causing i.materialise to offer a general tolerance of a mere 2%. The maximum size that this material can be printed in is 250 x 250 x 295 mm, making it an ideal material for both small and large-scale printing projects.

It’s important to note that if your object is in need of support structures, these aluminum supports will have to be removed manually after the printing process is complete. This means that there will possibly be minute evidence of the removed support structure on your finished aluminum print, and that ‘overhanging’ structures will almost always be an unattractive feature with this material. All in all, the most ideal type of shape to print with this aluminum material is a ‘mesh with holes’, which is the easiest to design for the DMLS process, and will also lead to the best possible print. The new aluminum material is currently in a trial mode, and will take approximately 15-18 business days to have printed and shipped to you. The material is ideal for organic and freeform shapes, enabling i.materialise customers to design jewelry and other metal-based components that are beyond their wildest dreams. Discuss further in the i.materialise New Aluminum 3D Printing Material forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: i.materialise]

Share this Article


Recent News

Generator Leader Generac Invests in 3D Printed Fuel Cell Stack Startup

3D Printing News Unpeeled: Novineer, Desktop Engraving for Circuits and the US Air Force



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Laser Wars: SLM Solutions Announces Order for Massive NXG XII 600E Metal 3D Printer

SLM Solutions (AM3D.DE) previously announced that it would collaborate with military research organization Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) to build a large metal printer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The resulting...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: October 16, 2022

Because there an insane number of events and webinars for this week’s roundup, I’m going to do things a little differently in this edition. First, I’ll list all of the...

Réplique Adds a Quality Monitoring Tool to its 3D Printing Service

Replique, a BASF venture builder company, wants to make it possible for industrial firms, such as Alstom and Miele, to 3D print spare parts the world over. All the while,...

Essentium Demos High-Speed 3D Printer at US Navy’s REPTX 2022

Essentium, a Texas-based additive manufacturing (AM) services provider and original equipment manufacturer (OEM), announced that the company successfully participated in the US Navy’s REPTX 2022 exercises, which were held August...