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3D Metal Printing & the Future of Manufacturing

There is no doubt that 3D printing is the future of today’s manufacturing business. Before, however, the printing process usually involves the use of malleable plastic. In order for this technology to become sustainable, it has to start printing in more durable metal, hence the use of ProX 300 Metal Printing.

The Creators

Creators of the ProX 300 Metal Printing are 3D Systems, currently one of the top companies making its mark in the 3D printing field. According to them, the product can churn out printing projects with a resolution of 20 µm with tolerances akin to EN ISO 2768. It is recommended for use in different industries including medical technology, patient specific implants, dental, jewelry, aerospace, as well as automotive needs.

How It Works

The product works in basically the same way as any 3D printer. It starts tracing a design based on a CAD-generated program, creating products layer by layer using a precise laser system. The beauty of this product is in the exactness of the process. The laser system is highly flexible, allowing it to create engineering marvels without the constraints that usually come with the typical building process.

Benefits of the Product

Although ProX 300 Metal Printing has not yet entered the mainstream with only 348 or so models being sold in the last year, there is no question that it is fast getting the recognition it deserves. Not really surprising considering the fluidity of the product, allowing users to utilize different types of metal to handle the work. Stainless steel is the most common medium being used nowadays, but the metal printer can also accommodate tooling steel, super alloys, and non-ferrous materials. This offers the possibility of creating a wide array of products with multiple uses through metals that serve their purpose best.

More recently, the ProX 300 Metal Printing model was tested as the need for an oil pump capable of handling high pressure was introduced by the English Racing Team. The creation of one apparently needed a delicate process that is not available through today’s manufacturing standards.

The challenge was taken up by ProX 300 Metal Printing, utilizing a CAD model to create an oil pump exactly according to standards. Ordinarily, it would have taken normal manufacturing procedures several weeks to turn the software model into a reality – but thanks to Metal Printing, it was done in a remarkably short time.

Now the next question is – does it actually work? Creating a model is one thing – having it work perfectly as needed is the crux of the matter. According to the English Racing Team, however, their requested oil pump performed so much better than expected. Originally getting roughly 115 psi from oil pressure; the installation of their 3D printed oil pump lowered the pressure to a manageable 96 psi.

The only drawback of this product right now is the price, ranging between $700,000 and $1,000,000 depending on the model. Considering the life-changing potential it may have on the manufacturing industry, there is no doubt that the price is more than worth it. For more information about this product, check out specifications online and its various uses in the industry. Image credits: 3Dsystems

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