Is Metal 3D Printing Expensive?
Metal 3D printing can be more expensive than traditional manufacturing methods due to factors such as material costs, equipment expenses, and post-processing requirements. The cost of metal 3D printing varies depending on factors like the type of metal used, the complexity of the design, and the desired level of precision. It's crucial to consider the overall lifecycle cost, including material waste, labor, and machine maintenance. For specific cost considerations and market trends, you can refer to industry reports from authoritative sources like Statista or Wohlers Associates.
When Was 3D Metal Printing Invented?
The concept of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, was first introduced in the early 1980s. However, the specific development of metal 3D printing technologies occurred later. The first patent related to metal 3D printing was filed in 1995 by Emanuel Sachs, Craig Schaffer, and Joseph M. Jacobson. Sachs and his team co-founded the company Desktop Metal, a key player in metal 3D printing technology.
Who Invented 3D Metal Printing?
Emanuel Sachs, Craig Schaffer, and Joseph M. Jacobson are credited with inventing a method for 3D printing with metals. Their work led to the filing of a patent in 1995. Emanuel Sachs is a professor at MIT, and their contributions laid the foundation for advancements in metal additive manufacturing.
How Is 3D Metal Printing Made?
Metal 3D printing, or additive manufacturing with metals, typically involves the following steps:
Designing the 3D Model:
- Create a digital 3D model of the object using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Slicing the Model:
- The digital model is sliced into thin layers using specialized software, generating a set of instructions for the 3D printer.
Preparation of Metal Powder:
- Metal powder, often in fine form, is selected based on the material requirements of the final part.
- The 3D printer deposits successive layers of metal powder and selectively fuses them using a laser or electron beam based on the sliced model.
- After printing, the part undergoes post-processing steps, which may include heat treatment, machining, or surface finishing to achieve the desired properties and surface quality.
For detailed information on the principles and processes of metal 3D printing, you can refer to resources from organizations like the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) or ASTM International.