3D Hubs Adds Indirect Metal 3D Printing to Network

A metal part alongside the 3D-printed patterns required to created it via investment casting. (Image courtesy of 3D Hubs.)

A metal part alongside the 3D-printed patterns required to created it via investment casting. (Image courtesy of 3D Hubs.)

What companies like Markforged, Desktop Metal and Admatec reintroduced to the world of manufacturing was the idea that 3D printing is already capable of producing metal parts through indirect methods. 

Whereas these companies are capable of producing metal-infused polymers that are then sintered to create final parts, investment casting, particularly in the jewelry and dental industries, has relied heavily on 3D printing.

3D Hubs has just added its own version of metal 3D printing via investment casting to its broad network of 3D printing services. Unlike companies like Shapeways, Sculpteo and Materialise, which use stereolithography and digital light processing to produce objects for casting, 3D Hubs is using fused deposition modeling (FDM). This makes 3D Hubs the first company to offer castable plastic 3D printed via FDM.

Though 3D Hubs also offers direct metal 3D printing processes, service providers in the 3D Hubs network will make it possible to cast metal parts five times cheaper than other methods by producing FDM parts using PolyCast, a castable filament designed by Polymaker to have a very low burnout (necessary to reduce deformations in the metal part).

Read more at ENGINEERING.com

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