Design Requirements for 3D Printing with Metal and 3D Printed Alloy Parts
We have a number of 3D printing companies that offer 3D printing metal services. You can upload any STL file and get an instant quote. Some general instructions are included below; however these may be slightly different between companies.
One of the main options for 3D printer metal materials is a material that is composed of 60% stainless steel and 40% bronze infiltrant. This material offers good mechanical properties and comes with both an annealed and non-annealed condition and can be machined, welded and polished and has great resistance to wear.
This specific material system is great for parts exposed to highly abrasive environments; including pump parts, down-hole drilling parts as well as equipment for mining. Additional applications include industrial parts, parts for molds & tooling, art structures and hardware that’s decorative.
Composition: Stainless Steel: Alloy 420, Bronze: 90% / Cu / 10% sn
Available Finishes: Gold Plated, Antique Bronze Patina, Damascus Steel Patina, Nickel Plated, Wheat Penny Patina, Medieval Pewter Patina
Note: Anti-corrosion treatments are also available.
Accepted File Formats: .prt, .sldprt, .3dm, .iges, .stp, .step, .3ds, .obj, .raw, .wrl
Export: Please export as a binary stl with a mesh tolerance of 0.0001 inches or .000254 mm
Part Geometry Guidelines for Successful Metal Printing Production:
The following guidelines present what the shop can and cannot successfully process in production. In some cases the part may never fall under production due to size or our thermal limitations and we will not be able to do it.
The following guidelines are only guidelines and all parts are reviewed for printability. As our process matures eventually parts like this in the examples might be possible eventually.
Part guidelines for small size parts:
Parts that are 2” x 2” x 2” (50mm x 50mm x 50mm) or less ca be printed with 95% success rate using or S4 material. The walls should be no less that 3mm thick. Also designs that are thin need to be supported structural so they can support themselves. The head would need to have supports/tie bars from one strip to the next. See Example 1a:
Another example in 2a the droplet necks down to a very thin cross-section. The droplet on the end is too heavy to support that small cross-section. See circle in 2a:
In example 4a the stigma is too thin and when depowdering it will blow off. It would need to be 3mm thick for it to survive or support would need to be placed in and then cut off. Also the pedals are not supported except at the receptacle. Again metal powder is very dense compared to plastic so it needs supports that would be cut off later.
In example 4b this is an extreme case where the ball is basically hanging on a string. It would never come out of the metal powder along with the flower not being supported etc.
In example 4c this is although we could print it we could not keep the parts loose in the furnace. The furnace goes up to 1150c which allows part to get hard so what happens is the loose parts fuse together and cannot be broken apart.
In example 4d although very cool looking, we could never get out of the powder with out it falling apart. Think of it this way, imagine a spider web. It looks really cool how the spider can create such an intricate web. Some webs are beautiful but then try to move it from where the spider created it. It would be a mess and even if you could remove it from where it was originally created, how could you lay it down with out messing it up. It can’t be done. Pieces would just break off.
Part guidelines for medium size parts:
Parts that are 8” x 8” x 4” (203mm x 203mm x 102mm) or less can be printed with 90% success rate using our S4 material. Thin walls should be no less that 3mm thick. All contours can be printed but surface finish can vary depending one the axis. Surface finish can be improved by rotating the part to reduce the amount of layering steps, but the part might take longer to print if taller in the Z-axis and cost more because of the rotation. Delicate parts like Artist parts can be printed with very good success but self supporting cross-sectional areas should NOT be less than 3mm for long distances.
In the example picture of 5e thin areas can be done if you keep to the 3mm as in the picture where the arrow points out. The buffalo has different thin features but they are supported with a frame work around it.
- Dimensional tolerances are at +/- .005” to as high as +/- .008 per inch and +/- .005 for every inch after.
- Hardness for S4 is around 15HRc to 19 HRc
- Surface finish is roughly around 200-250 Ra after tumbling
Part guidelines for large size parts:
Parts that are larger than 11” x 11” x 2” (280mm x 280mm x 50mm) can be printed with 50% success rate using our S4 material. Printing is not a problem but thermal processing is an issue that is still being resolved
- Dimensional tolerances are at +/- .010” (.254mm) to as high as +/- .020. (.508mm) with a +/- .005 per inch after.
- Hardness for S4 is variable depending where on the part.
- Surface finish is roughly around 400 to 600 Ra.
Part guidelines for loose parts:
If you need help converting your 3D model into a 3D printer friendly format? Send it to us and we’ll help you out!
Please see the video below for more information about uploading your 3D printing file for an instant quote on Maker6.