All the Details on 3D Metal Printing Issues You’ll Ever Need

By on February 18th, 2018 in learning

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 What actually happens in a 3D metal printer?
What actually happens in a 3D metal printer?

We encountered a lengthy video that details the challenges of 3D metal printing. 

The video, produced by America Makes, includes a lengthy discussion of 3D metal printing by Dr. Hao Peng of 3D Atlas, where he takes the role of Vice President of Product Development. 

This makes much sense, as his company produces the Sunata System, which we covered last week. This product attempts to automatically determine the best way – for your application – to print a given part on a 3D metal printer, at least if its of the DLMS variety. 

 Steps involved in 3D metal printing
Steps involved in 3D metal printing

The problem is immensely complicated, and having an automated tool to handle the problem is certainly welcome. While I knew the problem was complex, I had no idea the degree of complications. 

In the video, Dr. Peng goes over a wide variety of situations and explains in great detail the challenges of 3D metal printing in a way that will most certainly open your eyes to the problems evident in this technology. 

The major idea is to determine the sources of thermal distortion and attempt to mitigate them with multiple strategies. Issues such as cracks, delimitation, support disconnects and distortion are described. 

Dr. Peng describes the process of 3D printing from a physics point of view, and analyzes the multiple physical sources of distortion. 

 Some of the physics challenges in 3D metal printing 
Some of the physics challenges in 3D metal printing 

The 38 minute video is perhaps the most detailed description of 3D metal printing challenges I’ve seen. And this deals only with the printing aspects; there are plenty of other challenges with 3D metal printing, before and after the actual printing operations occur. 

If you’re contemplating getting into 3D metal printing, or have begun doing so, then you may want to watch this video very carefully. 

Via YouTube

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!