Metal powder is a critical component of any 3d printer. It determines the quality and efficiency of your product. There are several different subsets of powder available, and choosing the right one is crucial for ensuring high-quality printing results.
The most common metal powder is steel. This material has been used in industrial manufacturing for decades, and its strength, affordability, and post-processability make it a popular choice. It’s also a versatile material that can be 3D printed in a variety of alloys, including stainless steel and tool steel.
Other common options for 3D printing are titanium alloys, cobalt-chromium alloys, aluminum powder, and copper powder. These materials are durable, strong, and conduct heat and electricity more efficiently than traditional metals.
Selective Laser Melting and Direct Metal Laser Sintering are the most widely used methods for printing metal parts using a laser. These two processes are part of the powder bed fusion 3D printing family and have a lot in common: they use a laser to scan and fuse (or melt) metal powder particles, bonding them together layer by layer to form a solid part.
Cold Spray Deposition – Spee3D
This is a new type of 3D printing that uses a jet of pressurized air to spray tens of micrometer-sized metal particles on a surface. As the particles slam into the surface, they fuse with each other.
Compared to SLM and DMLS, this process is faster and requires less energy, making it an attractive option for automotive and aerospace applications. It is also highly recyclable, as only 5% of the metal powder is wasted.