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3D Printed Tooling

By i3d

i3D Collaboration with Penn Electric Racing

Congratulations to Penn Electric Racing who placed third overall at FSAE Lincoln, along
with second in the Autocross event, third in the Endurance event, and first in the
Cummins Advanced Technology Award.  I3D collaborated to create their in-hub 4-
wheel-drive powertrain, with DMLS printed motor housings which improved
performance. Penn Electric has been able to validate that this powertrain increased
power output and cornering ability, specifically aiding in the Autocross and Endurance
events. Additionally, the integrated cooling channels and lightweight AlSi12 material in
the housings have allowed us to optimize our performance and stay at the forefront of
the competition.

3D printing allows for tailored designs and specifications in a variety of materials that
would otherwise be costly or impossible to create. i3D is an Oregon based AS9100D
Certified AM contract manufacturer specializing in Disruptive Metal 3D Printed
production parts. We stock 16 metal powders including Aluminum, Titanium, and
several Super Nickel Alloys.  Attached is a list of our current metal powders. Our
strengths include expertise in custom development with our 7 EOS M290 DMLM and 1
EOS M400.4 machines.  Achieving better surface finishes, organic geometries
and tailored density and porosity is our specialty. Our engineers focus exclusively on
Metal 3D Printing and have developed extensive tribal knowledge around DMLM
design and strategies for best success.

I3DMFG Additive Manufacturing EOS

By i3d

How 3D Metal Printing Works (Video)

How 3D Metal Printing Works

So how does 3D metal printing work? Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics and explore one of the questions many people have about 3D printing. We have all seen the press, the hype and some of the incredible things 3D printing can do, but 3D metal printing (Additive Manufacturing) stands on it’s own when it comes to quality and leadership in paving the way for the new era and generation of manufacturing.

With that, our friends over at Praxair, Inc. have produced this incredible video on how 3d metal printing actually works.

By i3d

3D Metal Printing (Additive Manufacturing) Gives The Ability To Create The Nearly Impossible: With Limitations

Marc Saunders, Director – Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw, recently discussed how Additive Manufacturing (AM), a specifically 3D metal printing, can give us the ability to create components from designs that would be nearly impossible to produce conventionally.

As he points out, it’s not as simple though as having “unfettered freedom” to do whatever we want.  There are capabilities and limitations.

Mr. Saunders does a great job pointing out some key design considerations for laser melted metal parts. Here’s a few he points out:

  • Feature Size
  • Surface Finish
  • Overhangs
  • Lateral holes
  • Minimizing supports
  • Residual stress and distortion

Give the article a read in order to get the details on these key considerations.  As Marc point out,

“AM gives us huge freedom to design parts differently, but we do need to be aware of some of the characteristics and limitations of the process, so that we create parts that can be built successfully.

The DfAM rules described above are not too onerous in practice, and actually encourage us to consider ways to make parts that are lighter, faster to build, and more cost-effective.

Modern design and build preparation software helps enormously to find an optimum design, orientation and support strategy so that we can produce consistent parts economically. “


By Erin Stone

3D Printing Takes the Cost of Complexity to Zero

3D Printing Takes the Cost of Complexity to Zero

Whats is the definition of “game changer” for metals manufacturing? Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), a 3D printing process that eliminates binding agents and uses 400-1000 W lasers to melt micro powders together, layer by layer until a 3D CAD model of a part is built, is one of the 3D manufacturing processes that are the the epitome of “game changer” according to Hod Lipson or Cornell University.   Read more

By i3d


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.


i3DMFG Metals For Additive Manufacturing

By i3d

Oregon Welcomes i3D MFG™ 3D Metal Printing

Oregon Welcomes i3D MFG™ 3D Metal Printing

Why would a new small business opening in The Dalles, Oregon be newsworthy to Aerospace Manufacturing and Design Magazine? Aerospace is big in the Pacific Northwest and the UAV/UAS giant Insitu is located 20 minutes from i3D™ Manufacturing’s Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) factory. 3D metal printing has emerged as a critical component in aerospace, rocket, and UAV design and manufacturing, but until 2014, there were no Northwest DMLS service providers. Insitu, Boeing, and the like were forced to use services thousands of miles  away, reducing some of the lead time and cost advantages 3D printing is known for. Oregon is defined by innovation and i3D™’s 3D printing technology is at the forefront of advanced and additive manufacturing. DMLS moves 3D printing from the prototyping realm into true production parts manufacturing. DMLS parts are used in final assemblies by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE, etc. In addition to aerospace, i3D™ also provides parts for medical and dental device applications, firearms accessory manufacturers, the energy and recreational gear industries, and automotive parts users.

The Future of Manufacturing

In 2013, manufacturing accounted for 28% of Oregon’s economy, over $65 billion in output. So, its not surprising that the Portland Tribune and Portland Business Journal also featured i3D™ in their Summer 2014 publications. As opposed to traditional, or subtractive manufacturing where parts are carved out of billet, the additive manufacturing process starts with 20-40 micron layers of powdered metal and uses a laser to melt thousands of micro layers together, one layer at a time based on a 3D CAD model – adding material only where the model dictates.  The no-waste process enables parts to be built that cannot be traditionally manufactured, including complex geometries, lattice and honeycomb structures, conformal channels, and single part builds of multi-part assemblies. i3D™ prints stock metals including Titanium, Aluminum, Inconel, 15-5 and 17-4 Stainless Steel, and Maraging Tool Steel as well as custom powders created for specific customer applications. The Dalles has a long history of metal manufacturing and gave i3D™ a warm welcome to its community and the Columbia River Gorge region. Both The Dalles Chronicle and Gorge Technology Alliance celebrated i3D™’s headquarters locating in Oregon. 

i3D Collaboration with Penn Electric Racing
I3DMFG Additive Manufacturing EOS
How 3D Metal Printing Works (Video)
3D Printing Takes the Cost of Complexity to Zero
i3DMFG Metals For Additive Manufacturing
Oregon Welcomes i3D MFG™ 3D Metal Printing