30 August 2017 16:38
Metal 3D printing was a far-off dream for many manufacturing professionals for a number of years, but now it is not only possible, but easily achievable for most AM operations. This means prototypes and production can be delivered in a range of high-quality metals. One of the most exciting options available nowadays is 3D printed titanium. Today, we’ll be looking at this material’s potential advantages, and the key things you need to know to get the most out of its capabilities.   Why 3D print in titanium? Titanium is already used in a ...
17 August 2017 16:09
Any quality 3D printed model -- whether it’s a prototype, a display model or an industrial part -- begins with a quality material. This is especially important for metal 3D printing, as parts intended for industries such as aerospace, defence and automotive must be manufactured to the highest standards. However, the materials used for metal prints are still quite expensive, and so must be deployed intelligently to ensure operations remain cost-effective. A key part of this is maintaining the purity of all powder materials used for 3D printing. Any printing run ...
12 July 2017 8:09
The post-processing stage for parts generated using direct metal laser sintering is usually quite involved (far more than SLS prints, by way of contrast). However, with a little patience and the right techniques, a world-class result is easily achievable. In today’s tutorial, we’ll look at 5 practical tips to help you achieve the look and mechanical qualities you want for your parts.   1) Make sure your support structures have been removed cleanly Unlike other powder bed technologies, direct metal laser sintering still requires the use of support structures. As these will be ...
14 June 2017 8:54
The team at RP Platform were incredibly interested to read about the launch of Desktop Metal's new metal printing methods, bound metal deposition (BMD) and microwave sintering. The former utilises metal powder bound in plastic filament, then printed using a process similar to fused deposition modelling. The latter utilises existing metal injection moulding materials, which are combined with a binding material and sintered in a specially-designed furnace. It’s always exciting when a new method for 3D printing is unveiled, and these two new approaches certainly have huge implications for additive ...
12 June 2017 15:41
Being a powder-based process, any SLS project will be inherently messy, especially during the post-processing, when support materials need to be removed and excess powder extracted before the curing stage. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the cleaning process and make sure it is treated as a key part of your post-processing stage. While this may seem simple, it can in fact prove deceptively difficult if you wish to avoid damaging your finished parts. However, with the right approach to cleaning parts, it is possible to achieve ...
24 May 2017 16:20
With any SLS project, achieving a successful print is only the first step. Once your design has emerged from the printer, it’s time to begin the post-processing stage, to give it a truly professional look. In this week’s tutorial, we’re going to look at the different steps you should consider and how to ensure they deliver the result you’re after.   Removing the leftover powder With any SLS print, you will need to remove the excess powder before any further finishing can take place, which is typically done with a blast of compressed ...
19 May 2017 15:10
While many people still think of plain-coloured plastic when it comes to 3D printing, it is not only possible, but more straightforward than ever before to achieve vivid, full-colour results for both prototypes and production parts. In this week’s tutorial we’ll look at some of the available options for achieving great results with coloured SLS prints. There are a few options for adding colour to your SLS parts during the post-processing stage. The best choice for your part will depend on its intended purpose (i.e. is it intended for demonstration purposes, ...
31 March 2017 9:14
Professor Neil Hopkinson has been deeply involved in additive manufacturing since 1993, have worked and conducted research at the University of Sheffield, Loughborough University, De Montfort University, 3D Systems and the University of Nottingham. In January 2016, Neil was appointed Director of 3D Printing at Xaar -- the world leader in industrial inkjet technology -- in order to help broaden their 3D printing capabilities. Neil is the inventor of High Speed Sintering (HSS) -- a new, highly efficient approach to AM that uses inkjet printheads and infrared heaters to print ...
15 March 2017 18:02
“Compared with a traditionally cast part, a printed [part] has superior strength, ductility, and fracture resistance, with a lower variability in materials’ properties.” Elon Musk   While plastic-based materials have been utilised for the majority of additive manufacturing projects since the technology’s inception, recent developments in metal printing materials mean that producing functional metal parts is now not only feasible, but worthy of serious consideration for a range of industries. The possibility of using additive manufacturing techniques to deliver parts with the same mechanical qualities as their machined counterparts has helped open the ...