China Develops New Metal 3D Printing Technology, Combining Old and New Manufacturing Techniques

Share this Article

logo (18)There have been a lot of interesting developments in additive manufacturing coming out of China recently – in the areas of architecture, in space travel, in medicine, and even in environmental protection. The Chinese 3D printing industry is growing fast after a long period of stagnation. As we all know, one of the biggest keys to continued growth in the 3D printing market is the continued development of metal 3D printing, and it looks as though China is right on top of that area as well. At the end of last week, researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology announced that they have developed a new method of metal 3D printing – one that could eliminate several of the issues that still plague much of the technology.

Zhang Haiou, leader of the 3D printing technology research team at the university, has been developing the method for over a decade along with his fellow researchers. Dubbed “intelligent micro casting and forging,” the technique combines aspects of traditional metal casting and forging technology along with 3D printing to create stronger, more ductile and stable parts. According to Zhang, the method eliminates common problems such as porosity, cracking, and the crumbling or dropping of fused materials due to gravity or rapid heating and cooling.

“In the past, conventional 3D printing has been fatally flawed in the following areas. First, without forging, metal parts have a serious chance of wearing. Second, the performance of 3D printed parts has not been high. A third problem is the presence of pores and unfused portions and the fourth is that using a laser or electron beam as a heat source is very costly,” he said.

chinaThe printer, called the Micro Forging & Casting Sync Composite Device, is already being used to make parts – namely, titanium joints – for China’s stealth jet fighter planes. The research team expects that the technology, which can also be used to make thin-walled parts without excess material, will have a big impact on the aerospace industry, as well as the automotive, medical and general manufacturing sectors. It should deliver a significant boost to the Made in China 2025 initiative, which aims to update and overhaul the country’s manufacturing industry with a focus on advanced and green technology.

According to the team, intelligent micro casting and forging uses metal wire that is 90 percent cheaper than the powders used in most metal 3D printing techniques. It’s also 80 percent more efficient than SLM printing, and can create parts up to 5.5 x 4.2 x 1.5 m, with a surface roughness of 0.02 mm.

While several hybrid technologies have been developing recently, combining 3D printers with CNC machines and other methods of production, this appears to be the first time 3D printing has been merged with forging and casting. Parts created with the intelligent micro casting and forging technology will be more reliable and longer-lasting, the team says, and they’ve already been awarded multiple patents, both in China and internationally. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this new technology as more information becomes available. Discuss this new technology further in the Micro Forging & Casting Sync Composite Device forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Image: People’s Daily – Hubei Channel]

0013729e78491131271d1a

Share this Article


Recent News

Beyond Chuck Hull’s Legacy: the Unsung Heroes Who Paved the Way for 3D Printing

Personalized Smart Mouth Guard Made with Glidewell Dental’s Advanced 3D Printing Workflow



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Poll of the Week: Best Dental 3D Printing Applications

We asked our LinkedIn followers, in our very first Poll of the Week, what kinds of stories they wanted to read more of on 3DPrint.com, and the final answer was...

Revo Foods to Rev up Mass Production of 3D Printed Alt-Salmon

One of the major challenges facing 3D printed food is its scalability in comparison to traditional food production. The 3D printing industry generally specializes in creating small items. It can...

Carbon Adds Three New 3D Printing Resins to Dental Materials Portfolio

Product development and manufacturing technology company Carbon has a very strong materials platform, including engineering-quality elastomers and photopolymers, for applications ranging from sportswear to medical and dental. This week, the...

Custom 3D Printed Eyewear, Now in Translucent Colors from Materialise

Way back in 2017, Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise, said he could foresee “a growing amount of meaningful applications” for 3D printing, which included customized eyewear. The Belgium-based 3D printing...