The toroidal pick-off from the previous post has been printed.
The surface finish was a little rougher than I expected, I think that is due to the slightly coarser particle size used for the aluminium print, but since I was going to linish the surface of this part I wasn’t concerned. The part turned out quite well and the holes tapped easily (M6 thread).
As can be seen in the photos there were a couple of faults but they won’t affect the parts operation. There was a flat on one side where the part was cut off the printing bed. This could easily be fixed by using support material to raise the print a few millimeters.
On the opposite side the top off the curved surface had a few areas where the powder began to sink in, since this was a hollow part, but that could easily be fixed by adding support structure in the internals as it wouldn’t need to be removed later.
This wasn’t a very complicated part so it isn’t the best example of using 3D metal printing but with a competitive price and quick turn time (less than a week) it was a good option for fabricating this part.
Use of this technology would be ideal for producing parts with complex internal passages or complex structures.
Producing the parts in titanium or other alloys would result in strong light weight parts perfect for aviation, race teams or highly efficient light weight vehicles.
Some of the metals available are;
- Stainless Steel GP1
- Titanium Ti64
- Cobaltchrome MP1
- Direct Metal 20 (bronze-based alloy)
- Inconell N625
- Maraging Steel MS1 (hardenable tool steel)