As we move into 2020, metal 3d printing becomes a more exciting technology for manufacturers owing to its precision and flexibility. New to the list of positives is also the number of solutions being offered below the 100K price point, allowing more manufacturers to invest in the technology.
But it is the exacting and additive nature of 3D printing that makes it such a breakthrough in manufacturing. Traditionally, manufacturing starts by loading a rectangular or square piece of material into a machine. Depending on the material, there may be a spraying of liquid lubricant involved to prevent sparks and to protect the milling tools. No matter the material or amount of spraying involved, it makes a mess and produces scrap. In 3D printing, there’s none of this cutting or waste product involved in production.
3D printing looks more like injection molding than anything else. It operates off similar principles. With injection molding, machines “inject” heated material through a nozzle and let it cool before processing it further. In order to do this of course, you must first create a predetermined cut-out form in the shape of the final product. By contrast, in 3D printing, the material transformation process is more flexible. 3d printing allows for shaping without the use of outside forces, instead often using lasers to form the material.
In 2019, the most commonly used metal additive manufacturing technology was powder 3D printing. Simply put, the printer creates objects out of a bed of powdered metal using a powerful, computer-controlled laser. The finished part is precise but the process creates the same need for sintering that is created in the manufacture of injection molded parts, in order to achieve proper hardness and density.
High Capacity Sintering Furnaces for 3d Metal Print Processes
Selecting a sintering furnace is largely a function of what kinds of metals you need to process, what kind of atmosphere you will heat them in, (air, hydrogen, nitrogen), and what kind of throughput you need in your production or lab environment.
Some of the most common CM furnaces used in the finishing of 3d metal printed parts include:
CM Rapid Temp Series – One of the most flexible furnace designs on the market, these batch furnaces come in box furnace or tube furnace forms in multiple sizes. Available with sealed atmosphere chambers and temperature ranges from 1200 to 1800 degrees Celsius.
CM 400 series continuous furnace – This furnace is a better choice for medium to high volume production environments. With multiple heating zones, atmosphere sealed chambers, and sophisticated thermal profile automation, the furnace is both reliable and customizable.
All CM furnaces are designed and manufactured right here in the USA. For more information on furnaces suitable for your 3D printing process, contact CM furnaces today.