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i3DMFG Metals For Additive Manufacturing

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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. 

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!

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i3DMFG Metals For Additive Manufacturing
Oregon Welcomes i3D MFG™ 3D Metal Printing
Additive Manufacturing for Firearms