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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. 

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3D Printed “Buzzing” Handlebars on Your Titanium Bike

When INDUSTRY and Ti Cycles designed their entry for the Oregon Manifest bike design project, their vision required next generation technology and exotic metals that would then be hand-crafted by artisan bike makers into a premier urban commuter bicycle. Creating a beautiful balance between local artisan and new technology meant designing in a completely different mindset – enter, 3D printing. Keeping it local, INDUSTRY brought Oregon-based i3D™ Manufacturing on board to 3D print components that simply could not be manufactured using traditional methods. Included in these custom parts were intricate handlebars housing a bluetooth smartphone app called My Bike which monitors bike maintenance and alerts you to when a light needs to be replaced or when something goes wrong with your brakes. Another software, Discover My City, has a series of curated rides from five of Portland’s coolest residents, which suggests where to ride, eat and shop. The rider simply gets “buzzed” with the alerts, keeping them connected as they commute. Ti Cycles signature tubing Titanium frames are the perfect way to make sure no wires interfere with the rider and preserve the aesthetics of the bike design. The curves and junctions of parts of the frame also needed to be 3D printed because the tubing could not be traditionally manufactured to hold the lines properly. i3D™ printed fork crowns, front and rear dropouts, head tubes, bottom brackets, and seat clusters for the bike. The titanium printed part welds showed superior strength and seamlessly integrated with the tubing. 3D printing and phone apps aside, in the end, it was the skill and craftsmanship of Ti Cycles that brought the high tech and custom bike manufacturing together to create a perfect blend of utility and elegance. Go see what all the “buzz” is about at  3ders.org, Engadgettreehugger, and Bike Portland.

 

i3DMFG 3D Printing Services Recreational Industry

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i3D MFG™ 3D Prints Titanium Bicycle

i3D™ Manufacturing joined INDUSTRY and Ti Cycles in creating a 3D printed titanium bicycle as Portland’s entry for the 2014 Oregon Manifest Bike Design contest. 3D printing is a perfect solution for those wanting to manufacture a tailor-made product. Whether aesthetics, function, weight reduction, design innovations, or exotic metal cost effectiveness are the goals, additive manufacturing is a game-changer for design and manufacture. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) produces functional production parts by fuses 20-40 micron layers of metal powders together from a 3D CAD model. Multiple CAD models can be built on a single run, facilitating cost effective single part production, allowing for multiple versions of the same part to be run simultaneously for evaluation, and reducing lead times from weeks or months to hours and days. Exotic metals like Titanium and Inconel become cost effective because DMLS is a no waste process – after the micro lasers are laser melted together, the left over powder is vacuumed back into the machine and reused. Traditional manufacturing of these costly metals often resulted in as much as 70% scrap, making Titanium cost prohibitive despite its perfect match for the bicycle industry’s weight and strength property requirements. While working with Titanium proved more difficult than other DMLS metals, i3D MFG™ added supports and geometry adjustments for structural rigidity and thermal dissipation to offset tolerance and creep issues created by mass, height, and stress relief. Custom latticed parts, innovative fork crown geometries, and organic frame lines were all possible using 3D printing. Design-for-3D erases all traditional manufacturing limitations, including minimum order quantities, machine lines, and complex assemblies. Furthermore, the weldability and post process properties of 3D printed parts is generally better than cast parts and comparable to machined parts.  Read 3D Print News’ interview with Ti Cycles or designboom’s article for details on this exciting Titanium bicycle project.

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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!

i3DMFG 3D Metal Printing Technologies Services

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Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace

The Critical Role of Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace Applications:

The Aerospace industry has been integrating DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) in its structural applications for years. Other industries are now jumping on board with this cutting edge technology  (oil and gas, medical, military, auto…). While typical applications revolved around standard objects such as brackets and ducts using investment casting- the future lies with 3D Design-for-Manufacturing. Nozzles, Injectors, Turbine Blades, Wing Spans, Spars, Struts, Entire Jet and Rocket engines all contain 3D production parts. Check out GE’s latest DMLS advancement.

Exciting New Metals for Aerospace: Titanium Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo (Ti-6-2-4-2)

Chemistry Data :

Aluminum 5.5 – 6.5
Carbon 0.08 max
Hydrogen 0.0125 max
Iron 0.25 max
Molybdenum 1.75 – 2.25
Nitrogen 0.05 max
Oxygen 0.12 max
Silicon 0.1 max
Tin 1.75 – 2.25
Titanium Balance
Zirconium 3.5 – 4.5

 

Titanium (Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo) has generally been intended for high temperature use in environments up to 538°C (1000°F). Common applications consist of “hot section” gas turbine components such as discs, impellers, turbines, etc. With excellent tensile creep and fatigue properties, Ti 6-2-4-2 is also used for afterburner structures and hit airframe “skin” applications. Not readily available, Ti-6-2-4-2 is possible to convert and print using DMLS. i3D™ specializes in custom DMLS powder development and production.

Titanium is considered difficult to machine or cast. While Titanium for DMLS requires experienced operators, once its risk factors are mastered, it is forgiving and relatively affordable using DMLS. Its characteristics have been compared to those found in 316 Stainless Steel 3D printed parts. Recommended practice includes high coolant flow which aids the offset of the materials for minimal thermal conductivity establishing gradual speeds and relatively high feed rates.


i3D™ works relentlessly to make sure customer requirements are always met and understood. We actively use our manufacturing knowledge for customers’ benefits. Whether it is one part or production volume parts, i3D™’s experienced team is determined to deliver the highest quality part, quickly and accurately.

 

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i3DMFG Metals For Additive Manufacturing
Oregon Welcomes i3D MFG™ 3D Metal Printing
3D Printed “Buzzing” Handlebars on Your Titanium Bike
i3DMFG 3D Printing Services Recreational Industry
i3D MFG™ 3D Prints Titanium Bicycle
Additive Manufacturing for Firearms
i3DMFG 3D Metal Printing Technologies Services
Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace