FDM metal filament printing now available on your desktop

FDM metal filament printing now available on your desktop

FDM metal filament 3d printing is definitely possible and growing in accessibility. Firstly, there are a number of great options. Secondly, and most importantly there are metal printers to match all budgets. You don’t need a big budget like many believe. It really doesn’t have to be that expensive!

Above all, FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) eliminates airborne metal particles by containing the fine metal powder in the plastic filament making it a very safe method of printing metal for everyone.

Traditional machining and manufacture come at a great cost in time and money and require skilled operators. Metal 3D printing, Additive manufacture (AM) or 3D printing (3DP) has been bringing manufacturing to industry and education alike.

A fully functional and proven technology to print metal parts is available on the Nanoe platforms.

The development of metal 3d printing has given rise to a number of different technologies from Direct Metal Laser Sinter (DMLS) to Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) that can print metals. Another process is NeuBeam. It is a very exciting technology that provide the following benefits;,

  • increased flexibility
  • better metallurgy
  • and complete stability for industrial metal AM applications

In conclusion, the future of FDM metal filament 3d printing is very exciting. Undoubtedly there will be new developments and even more exciting developments in the future. This development will most likely arise from new materials like Titanium, Cobalt, Copper and ceramic materials too.

3d printed metal spiral
An example of 3D printed metal parts
The Future

FDM metal filament 3d printing and other materials combined into a part is an interesting area of development. One way metals or ceramics are printed is by mixing material as a fine powder into a plastic filament so material can printed through a nozzle. Once the desired part has been printed it is necessary to rid it of the plastic content to improve mechanical properties. This process is the same as firing clay in a kiln.

Ceramic and metals combined into a part

Data also showed trends that favoured the chances of co-sintering. Lower thermal conductivity materials had an increased chance of co-sintering. It also showed that the metal inserts improve temperature distribution through the part and speed up sintering but that this did not favour co-sintering. Smaller shapes were better than larger shapes due to more concentrated heat flux per unit area. High heat rates were superior to lower heat rates for co-sintering. To learn more about co-sintering visit the Aston University project here

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