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3D Metal Printing Is Taking Over From Plastics

Cost-effective metal 3D printing with powder bed fusion is increasingly becoming a reality as we move towards full production metal parts, and away from the use of plastic based prototype versions.

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Indeed, the metals sector is the most rapidly growing category of 3D printing.

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Metals used in 3D printing include aluminium, bronze, cobalt alloys, copper, gold, nickel alloys, palladium, platinum, silver, steel, titanium alloys and tungsten. The leading adopters of 3D printing include the aerospace, biomedical and jewellery sectors. In aerospace, NASA intends to 3D metal print over 80% of its future rocket engines.

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Before the end of 2020, there’ll be a $3.5billion investment in a production plant to make 100,000 fuel nozzles per year for the engines. In dentistry, parts such as copings and bridges are being made using metal 3D printing; while in jewellery, 3D printing allows for sophisticated, bespoke, unique shapes to be produced. SpaceX […]

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