Serious 3D printers - Titanium laser sintering

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Phido, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Phido

    Phido Member

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    Hey,

    Looking at getting a serious 3D printer at work, one of the laser sintering ones like a sPro125 or a Renishaw AM125 or larger ones of similar type.

    Can't find one that does 240v single phase.
    How much do they go for? Cost to operate, reliability etc?
     
  2. SCwerTA

    SCwerTA Member

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    Don't have direct access to one, but I've seen the RMIT, Monash and CSIRO SLM and EBM machines.

    All the ones I looked into were at least $250K+, I think the Arcam was ~$1mill as a ball park IIRC. They were limited to 300mm3 max workspace and had very high running costs. Vacuum sealed chamber or inert gas (Argon), and consumable material were also costly...

    Although, I heard CSIRO were off-shooting a company to produce a compatible titanium powder direct from Australian ore (Australia holds the largest ore reserves, so I heard). So that's something you can look into perhaps.

    They claim to do more than one material, its often more trouble than its worth when you have to change the powder material out by fully purging the system. Particularly hazardous too with the ultra fine particles.:Paranoid:

    Also something to consider is the surface finish and porosity. Very rough and often you'll need to post machine for critical surfaces.

    A very interesting technology, but for industry use, I'm not so sure if its there yet...
     
  3. Billzilla

    Billzilla Member

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    FWIW I got these -

    [​IMG]

    - which are made on one of those machine I think, from here ...
    http://www.bathsheba.com

    They are quite expensive.
     
  4. Bastard Child

    Bastard Child RIP

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    Patents expire next February, expect prices to plummet.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Phido

    Phido Member

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    I hoping to get a small machine budget approved now.

    Then by the time the money is actually allocated they will be half price so I can buy two or a larger machine.

    However looks like they are all out of my budget. $430,000 for a 125 is just outrageous. I was kind of hoping for $50-$80k.

    I was hoping for something using cheap aluminium powder, laser so normal air pressure (or vacuum with no need for inert gas). Powder goes in, product comes out etc.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Phido

    Phido Member

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    Good news.

    Boss didn't flinch, in fact said we should add more.
     
  7. dodgyr

    dodgyr Member

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    lol ... can I come work with you?!
     
  8. Brick

    Brick Member

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    No clue what RMIT's one is but apparently it was 1.1 million worth of machine. I've only gotten to play with one of the little desktop 3D printers in there though... Someday! :D
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Phido

    Phido Member

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    I think this might go get up.

    We will be hopefully getting some smaller plastic machines as well. A few Makerbot style and maybe a powdered plastic one too.

    Running costs don't seem as outrageous as I had thought.. Powder starts at around $50 per kg. Argon isn't that expensive, and it only uses a small amount.

    Finish can be enhanced by sandblasting and also sticking in a furnace helps with porosity. But part of the reason we are getting one is to find out the capabilities and limitations of said machines.

    Its really just the initial purchase price stopping these from becoming much more popular. If they were in the $50k bracket instead of the $500k bracket, they would really change everything.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Phido

    Phido Member

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    Well it looks like the CEO is saying no.

    However, I have hatched a new plan but it will take much longer.
    And it looks like I will get a few makerbots and a powder type printer.
     
  11. Ulan

    Ulan Member

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    Anyone have one of these titanium 3d printers yet? Or even stainless steel printers?
     
  12. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Some potentially cheaper options soon:
    https://oneclickmetal.com/
     
  13. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Just be aware, not all machines let you re-use powder. That could mean throwing away several kilos from each print.
     
  14. aokman

    aokman Member

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    We are selling them at work, mainly for aerospace and uni's though at the moment. Our bread and butter are resin, CYMK power deposition and dental :)
     
  15. PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Does anyone think it'd be possible to do metal 3d printing using a similar projection method as to the current SLA printers? Using a laser would likely not be possible since having the beam spread out over such a large area would not let it properly melt the powder, however if it was like a high intensity oven and the projection screen provided a heat shield to the areas that don't want to be bonded?
    or is an idea like this pure fantasy


    Which company? I've heard about a lot of development using 3d printed turbine blades
     
  16. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    fantasy I'd imagine, you'd have to get the whole 2D surface hot enough to melt the metal powder to the layer below, without that heat affecting non-related areas. A laser can do that due to it's focus, but you of course have to scan it 'pixel' by 'pixel'.


    Koenigsegg use 3D printed titanium turbochargers, as production parts, small volumes mean casting/machining is more expensive than the 3d printed ones.
     
  17. aokman

    aokman Member

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    We are the exclusive re-seller and service for 3Dsystems in Australia who have a wide range of systems, we are also ramping up sale and onsite support for Markforged with service agreements.

    3DSystems have some amazing metal sintering machines that you have seen in the news as we printed a new titanium reconstructive jaw bone for a patient. Applications vary wildly from medical and dental for perfect fit bio-compatible replacements to aerospace where we can now 3D print rocket engines, bell housings and of course turbine blades which are far superior to reductive manufacturing as you can actually print the blades with a hollowed out honeycomb that are differentially heat treated from end to end.



    If you are in commercial or SBS and looking to buy any type of industrial 3D printer, do not buy one without a service agreement.

    It is most certainly possible using a bath technology and some sort of binder however it would require curing in a furnace after which may have undesirable crystalline properties or heat treating. I have given thought to the idea of messing with it.

    Honestly though anyone coming from a cheap FDM printer would be blown away by MJP resin printing alone. They are insanely strong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  18. PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    I'm trying to visualise how a bath print would work without having the heat be sucked away too rapidly by convection, or just how the bath print would function. And surely if the heat treatment was gradual enough you'd be able to create any type of crystal structure you'd like, similar to sintering?
     
  19. m3k

    m3k Member

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    suggest for desktop plastic printers Up! make some great industrial options- One reloads the bed and ejects them into a bag very good for long running jobs and they have great support and easy to use software-

    as per "more open /hackable printers" there are somany options id probably avoid makerbot/ultimaker however they're a bit headachey and parts arnt super avilable even if ulti is opensource lol

    up is great with its polycarbonate ABS blend up fila or whatever is really good for industrial applications jigs etc that take alot of beatings

    i would not recommend anything else in an office environment because the rest have poor filtration- are loud- and harder to use are too tinker friendly aka- wasting time when you just need to print stuff and move forward

    also for supports- they're easy to remove even though they are from the same nozzle/material

    as per metal printing- they're becoming far cheaper- but id probably just outsource low production runs or just invest in something shapeways swear by and offer services locally to pay it off :p

    id look at the printer expo's that happen in USA there are alot of small companies making cheaper options for high temp plastic and metal printers.

    some of them cut some corners and arn't as reliable as the expensive ones
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 6:03 PM
  20. aokman

    aokman Member

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    A resin bath method would most likely require a binder to hold the powder in suspension until it is furnaced. I can't see a DLP being able to directly sinter or fuse the metal as the laser sintering machines are already dam dangerous, require inert atmosphere and 500W lasers to sinter.

    Laser sintering also offers differential heat treating as the laser output can be controlled dynamically.
     

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