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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 DMLS machines. i3D MFG offers state-of-the-art DMLS/DMLM 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. i3D MFG is able to achieve densities in aluminum, titanium, steel, and Inconel.

Precision Automotive

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) 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. i3D MFG™ 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 i3D MFG™ owns North America’s first EOS M280, M290 and M400 x 4 DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) machines. As an official Material Process Applications (MPA) for EOS, i3D MFG™ prides itself on its DMLS/DMLM material development and 3D print application innovations. DMLS/DMLM fully functional production parts can be finished just like machined or cast parts from polishing to welding to plating. i3D MFG™’s process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and costly tool change time and shipping.

Metals We Print

i3D MFG™ 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 (Al)

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.

Titanium (Ti)

Ti64 is the standard DMLS powder which is well suited for Medical, Aerospace, Firearms, Energy and Automotive projects requiring corrosion resistance, strength, weight reduction and biocompatibility.

Stainless Steels

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 StainlessSteel PH1 can be machined, spark-eroded, welded, micro shot-peened, polished and coated if required.

Maraging Steel

Our maraging steel powder has excellent strength and mechanical properties. MS1 is a pre-alloyed, ultra high strength steel 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.

Inconel (IN718)

IN718 is a DMLS nickel; A Chromium alloy with superior heat resistance and typical heat treatment hardness of 40-47 HRC (370-450HB).  Rocket, space, aerospace, firearms, energy, and automotive industries rely on Inconel.

Custom Powders

i3D MFG™ is the market leader is DMLS powder development. In addition to our established metallurgical partnerships, i3D™ is the first North American EOS Material Process Application (MPA) Development Partner, giving us access to the latest DMLS machine parameter sets and enabling i3D™ to develop highly specialized powder applications for aerospace, rocket, automotive, and casting customers.

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