The market for 3D printing is expected to explode in coming years across the globe. Metal additive processes for instance, metal powder bed fusion as well as directed energy deposition are possibly accomplished of producing high-quality, efficient & load comportment portions from a range of metal powder materials. On the other hand, suitable for all circumstances doesn’t relate well to industrialized additive manufacturing as well as when talking about the higher significant portions along with the vital applications, it is very essential to recognize the pros & cons of such processes and also the benefits. Also, it is important to know how they put on to a
The market for 3D printing is expected to explode in coming years across the globe. Metal additive processes for instance, metal powder bed fusion as well as directed energy deposition are possibly accomplished of producing high-quality, efficient & load comportment portions from a range of metal powder materials. On the other hand, suitable for all circumstances doesn’t relate well to industrialized additive manufacturing as well as when talking about the higher significant portions along with the vital applications, it is very essential to recognize the pros & cons of such processes and also the benefits. Also, it is important to know how they put on to a preferred material.
The United Kingdom headquartered metal 3D printing powder organization LPW Technology is on a mission for adding higher quality to Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes with its distinct outlined powders as well as services and augmented adoption of metal 3D printing. In addition, 2 years ago, the organization presented a new materials process and had worked to advance more ecologically friendly metal powders for the 3D printing.
LPW Technology objects to make the highest quality metal powder for the markets of 3D printing that also means the material performing reliability, steady supply as well as ample traceability, besides the last two are well-ordered by enhanced manufacturing methods, eminent supply chains plus better Quality Management Systems. However, when discussing about the material that are performing well, that entirely depends upon the properties of the powder. As per the LPW Technology, the old axiom ‘purchase cheap, purchase twice’ is still applicable to Additive Manufacturing.
One of the major benefits of Additive Manufacturing, over other conventional manufacturing processes, is its capability to reprocess a collection of material that has already been through the process. The trade case for reprocessing powder is resilient, as the number of times a batch of powder can be reprocessed, lesser will be the end cost for each part, depending upon the a smaller amount powder left unused. Moreover, the number of spells a material can be reprocessed is very much determined by the handler or else a perceived engineering standard, nevertheless either method material enactment in providing as-built portions is normally the crucial metric.
Additionally, there are a number of things that can affect the final cost for each and every part, comprising material, which is frequently deliberated as one of the very expensive aspect in terms of enduring manufacturing. On the other hand, by the means of reprocessing 3D printing powder, the end cost for every part will not necessarily imitate its primary cost/kilo of the material. Furthermore, certain other aspects that effect this cost includes how many portions can be produced to each construct as well as how many workable constructs a industrialist can complete from one set of powder.
The number of parts manufactured in a particular construct is exclusively application specific and also depends upon the extent of portion as well as dimension of the accessible construct volume. Furthermore, the quantity of constructs that can be accomplished for a particular set entirely depends upon how swiftly the powder breaches the edges of specification. Also, the influence of powder evolution should be considered as how a material differs from primary specification.
As presented in the above figure and validated by the organizations such as LPW, metal powder can progress with reprocess. Moreover, a powder’s oxygen concentration can upsurge linearly with the amount of time it has been reprocessed that is revealed in the final 3D printed portions. Further, in terms of Inconel 718 (metal 3D printing powders) precisely, it might possibly impact an element’s dynamic mechanical performance. The organization showed that around 50 ppm oxygen content rise was certainly sufficient for significantly reducing the weariness life of the material at higher temperatures.
In addition, where this particular linear association has been proven, it is coherent that initiating with a virgin powder along with lesser oxygen levels will probably permit for more constructs to be accomplished afore the limit of specification is touched.
Metal Additive Manufacturing powder’s level of oxygen is mainly measured through the level of oxygen within the feedstock material, with the pureness of gas as well as parameters of the process throughout the atomization. Thus, it is usually more costly to produce powder with lower levels of oxygen. Nevertheless, while some might be certain that this would mean as more cost-effective for using less expensive powder that contains higher amount of oxygen content.
Now, the Figure below enables in comparison of the over-all cost of ownership of 2 sets of Inconel 718 powder. Besides, the 1st set has an oxygen content of approx. 200 ppm (0.02 wt%), that has the rate of $60 for every kilo. Then the 2nd consists of an oxygen content of around 100 ppm (0.01 wt%) that has the rate of $70 for every kilo, which is a rise of around 16.7%.
Although the 2nd set is more expensive per kilo, it is also has 100 ppm lesser oxygen content. As prove in a recent study by LPW Technology that it is potential to treble the amount of reprocesses with the lesser oxygen powder if the evolution rate of modest oxygen is around 3.5 ppm per construct has been applied to a material specification limit of around 250 ppm. Therefore, despite that fact that there’s a rise of around 16.7% in the material cost, approximately 60% decrease in end cost per portion from using the more costly, lesser oxygen content powder makes it value for money.
As a result, it can be concluded that higher quality material, coupled with providing optimum results from sole usage, can as well be utilized for extending the powder’s commercial as well as specification lifespan. Also, it is proved that reprocess metal 3D printing powder has absolutely transformed the business case for metal 3D printing landscape.