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Material Process Applications

By Erin Stone

Why 3D Printing is Predicted to Produce 50% of Parts & Components

3D Printing Predicted to Produce 50% of Parts & Components

A recently released Gartner study found that 3D printing is not only widely used for rapid prototyping and product development, but that ” it (3D printing) was starting to play a significant role in short run production of finished products.” What evidence does Gartner have to support that prediction? First, they performed a survey of 300 people from a multitude of 100+ employee organizations and 37% of them use end-use quality 3D parts.   Read more

By i3d

DIRECT METAL LASER SINTERING (DMLS) FOR CAVITIES AND CORES

You needed your Injection Mold Tooling when? Yesterday??

The Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process has been rapidly gaining recognition as perhaps one of the most powerful technologies available in the additive manufacturing world. The recent material parameter developments coupled with outstanding resolution and speed of fabrication are making DMLS cavity and core inserts a very successful tool that can be used to shorten lead times, reduce costs and push multiple projects through in the same amount of time that one project normally takes. i3D Manufacturing can print mold cavity and core inserts within days, giving end-use customers competitive advantages in real time-to-market, product development, and small batch production. Our Aluminum, Maraging Tool Steel and Stainless Steel mold tools can be post processed in all of the same ways as cast or machined parts, from polishing to welding to anodizing. 
 

Interchangeable Cavity and Core Insert Blocks

i3D™ owns North America’s first EOS M290 DMLS 3D Printing machine. As an official Material Process Applications (MPA) for EOS, i3D™ prides itself on its DMLS material and 3D print application innovations. Our interchangeable mold tool cavity and core universal base provides injection molders flexibility in switching out cavity and cores in small and medium batch runs at economical tooling and change-over costs.
 
With the latest, highest quality equipment i3D™  is able to achieve densities at nearly 100%, allowing for any finish requirements to the various 3D printed cavity and cores. Lattice and honeycomb designs specially tailored for optimal part cooling and heating add more value to the mold block design options. Injection molders can offer their clients tool design, manufacture, and part production in as little as 3 weeks. The process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and avoiding costly tool change expense. Rapid Injection Tooling is often used as a bridge between prototyping and production but, not always. If you have low volume injection molding requirements, rapid tooling could be the answer for you. 
 
Aluminum (AlSi12)
AlSi12 is our most common DMLS Aluminum powder and is perfect for projects with good thermal and low weight considerations. It is an optimal metal for parts with thin walls and complex geometries
Maraging “Tool” Steel (MS1)
Our Maraging Steel powder has excellent strength and mechanical properties. MS1 is a pre-alloyed, ultra high strength powder most commonly used for tooling applications. Its chemical composition corresponds to U.S. 18% Ni, Maraging 300, European 1.2709 and German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5. After heat treatment, MS1 typically has a 50-53 HRC.
Stainless Steel (PH1)
PH1 is a medical grade, sterilisable, corrosion resistant steel. It is primarily used in Medical, Firearms, Energy and Automotive applications. After heat treatment, PH1 hardens to 40-45 HRC. Our Stainless steel equivalents include 15-5, 17-4 and 316. Parts made from EOS Stainless Steel PH1 can be machined, spark eroded, welded, micro shot peened, polished and coated if required.
 

      

By i3d

Additive Manufacturing for Firearms

Additive Manufacturing Helps Oregon Firearms Industry Stay Innovative

With big game hunting season winding down in Oregon, it seems appropriate to give a nod to our friends in the firearms industry. Oregon has a long and rich history in firearm accessory manufacturing. Its premier manufacturers epitomize innovation and quality – think Warne Scope Mounts, Nosler, Leupold, and Grovtec. These companies were born from Northwest outdoorsmen’s desire for quality products with superior performance. They’ve become household names today because of their focus and commitment to innovation.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is helping Oregon’s firearm industry stay a step ahead of its competition. Complex designs that are expensive or even impossible to traditionally manufacture can be 3D printed in metal using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) offered by i3D MFG™ and other similar service bureaus. Custom part builds, rapid market launches, and small batch production are all cost effective mean of production using 3D manufacturing. Unlike previous 3D print technologies, DMLS does not use binding agents, therefore, parts near 100% density, and are comparable to machined and high quality cast parts. In fact, this past summer both the FBI and the USSOC commenced in firearms projects using DMLS.

Additive Manufacturing benefits for Firearms

Latticed geometries, conformal cooling lines, organic channels, and single part production of multiple part assemblies are common 3D design features. Since 3D manufacturing is a no-waste process, exotic metals offering superior strength and heat properties are cost effective. Titanium, Inconel, and Steel are the most widely produced DMLS metals in the firearms industry. Lead times with 3D printing allow firearm accessory manufacturers to reduce R&D and market launch to weeks or months compared to months and years. Multiple versions of a design can be 3D printed in the same build, allowing R&D version testing or custom production in days.

i3D™ is proud to be innovating along with Oregon’s industry leaders. Oregon’s proud tradition of recreational firearms and firearm accessory manufacturing will continue to grow and beat its competitive because of their forward thinking and adoption of next generation technology in product development. We hope all the hunters out there had a successful season!

Material Process Applications
Why 3D Printing is Predicted to Produce 50% of Parts & Components
DIRECT METAL LASER SINTERING (DMLS) FOR CAVITIES AND CORES
Additive Manufacturing for Firearms