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3D Printing in the Automotive Industry

i3DMFG 3D Printing Automotive Industry

With North America’s first EOS M280, M290 & M400 x 4 Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS®) machines. i3DMFG™ offers state-of-the-art DMLS® material development and 3D printing of automotive parts. In an industry as competitive as the Automotive world, innovations in weight reduction, fuel efficiency, and customization are critical. This makes 3D printing in the automotive industry a cost-effective, quick-paced, and high-performance solution. How? Without the need for tools, additive manufacturing produces components with integrated functionality while cutting development and production costs.

While 3D printing automotive parts, 3D CAD models drive the DMLS® machine’s 400W lasers to fuse microlayers of metal powder together. This process creates a nearly 100% dense and fully functional production part in individual serialized batches. 3D printing in the automotive industry allows for complex internal geometries, conformal cooling channels, microchannels, latticed and honeycomb designs, and free-form shapes. i3DMFG™ is able to achieve densities in aluminum, titanium, steel, and Inconel.

Precision Automotive

DMLS® eliminates traditional design-for-manufacture constraints because 3D models drive 400W lasers to fuse micro-layers of powder together in linear or organic shapes. Since DMLS® parts are grown layer by layer, in tens of thousands of layers, complex internal geometries, conformal internal fluid channels, latticed and honeycombed designs, and assemblies grown as single parts are now a manufacturing reality. Designers can incorporate varied wall thicknesses and part improvements that were previously confined by traditional manufacturing limitations. Rapid prototyping using DMLS® means automobile manufacturers can increase the efficiency of their research and development processes, enabling them to get their product to market more quickly.

Our focus is not just on part accuracy. i3DMFG™ is continuously expanding its material and application expertise in order to ensure that parts are functionally reproducible and can be installed directly in serial production vehicles i3DMFG™ owns North America’s first EOS M280, M290 and M400.4 DMLS® machines. As an official Material Process Applications (MPA) for EOS, i3DMFG™ prides itself on its DMLS® material development and 3D print application innovations. DMLS® fully functional production parts can be finished just like machined or cast parts from polishing to welding to plating. i3DMFG™’s process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and costly tool change time and shipping.

Metals We Print

i3DMFG™ offers one of the largest selections of DMLS® standard metal powders in the U.S. We are one of the few 3D manufacturers specializing in Copper, Aluminum, Titanium, Inconel, Haynes and Monel K and are the EOS North America MPA (Material Process Applications) partner specializing in custom metal powder applications. Our engineers are experts in Design-for-3D strategies, enabling our customers to realize significant competitive advantages in design and proprietary advancements.

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Aluminum (AlSi10 and 6061)

Due to its lightweight nature and excellent thermal properties, AlSi10 is our most common DMLS® aluminum powder. It is ideal for parts with thin walls and complicated geometries. i3DMFG™ also runs 6061 to achieve better surface finish and strength properties comparable to wrought 6061-T6.

Titanium (Ti)

Titanium (Ti64) is well suited for projects requiring corrosion resistance, strength, weight reduction, and biocompatibility.

Stainless Steels (15-5, 17-4, 304L, and 316L)

DMLS® stainless steel is a medical grade, sterilisable, corrosion resistant steel that hardens to 40-45 HRC after heat treatment. Our stainless-steel equivalents include 15-5, 17-4, 304L, and 316L. Parts made from DMLS® can be machined, spark-eroded, welded, micro shot-peened, polished, and coated.

Maraging Steel (MS1)

Maraging (tool) Steel (MS1) features excellent strength and mechanical properties. 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.

Super Nickle Alloys (IN625, IN718, Haynes 214, Haynes 282 and Hastelloy X)

Super Nickle alloys are chromium alloys with superior heat and corrosion resistance.

Copper (GrCop-84 and GrCop-42)

i3DMFG™ is developing parameter sets to print in GrCop-84 and GrCop-42 for high temperature applications.

A NASA developed Copper alloy that is highly conductive for the aerospace industry.

Custom Powders

i3DMFG™ is the market leader is DMLS® powder development. We are able to develop highly specialized powder applications for aerospace, UAV/UAS, rocket, defense, firearms, oil & gas, energy, medical device, automotive, and casting customers.


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