The metal additive manufacturing market is transforming from high-cost performance alloys like nickel and titanium. The market is adopting cost-effective materials, which can still offer effective performance in large quantities. Aluminum is one of the metals expected to be among the key materials in this transformation towards mass production. It is expected that any 3D company Dubai has will focus on aluminum for additive manufacturing, especially in 3D printing.
Understanding 3D Printing Using Aluminum
In the past few years, 3D printing using aluminum has gone from being a thought to being the most used metal groups in additive manufacturing. The demand for aluminum additive solutions keep soaring and growth will continue to increase. If you are a 3D printing company Dubai expert, this might not be new to you; however, aluminum printing is underrated.
One of the reasons for aluminum printing underrepresentation is that people compare shipment numbers based on the mass of powders sold. Aluminum is one of the least dense metals does not show up in big shipment numbers compared to dense metals, such as nickel.
Metal powder fusion is one among the seven additive manufacturing methods which use heat, laser, or electron beam to melt and join materials create a 3-dimensional object. You can either use metal or plastic in this process. This method can be split into 4 groups: laser, thermally, electron beam, and agent and energy fused.
Powder bed fusion printers are equipped with 2 chambers (build and powder chambers). There is a coating roller, which allows for the movement and spread of the powder all over the build chamber. Some manufacturers opt for 2 powder chambers, which they use as excess overflow chambers.
Powder bed fusion is beneficial because manufacturing cost has declined over the years due to the low cost of powder bed fusion machines. Also, you don’t need to use any support structures because the powder is an integral support structure by itself. You can also recycle the powder by preheating.
Why Aluminum is Key to the Future of Metal Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing
Printed aluminum has always been valuable, but it became highly sought after in the last couple of years. Below are some of the reasons why aluminum is better compared to other metals:
It is Easy to Stabilize
Aluminum has gained popularity in the last couple of years because people found many uses for this metal. 3D printing Dubai experts have mastered the processing requirements to make stable, high-quality, and productive aluminum parts. These companies have collectively increased their process parameters to have aluminum as an ‘approved’ material to use in their systems. This is done for clients who do not want to go through research and development time to stabilize the material themselves.
The reason why you will find your favorite 3D printing company Dubai experts using aluminum is that there are a lot of options using powder bed fusion. Aluminum has accounted largely in additive manufacturing today and in the past. Although it is not used widely, there is market support for wrought, cast, and special aluminum alloys.
What makes aluminum special compared to other metals? When it comes to additive manufacturing of metals, most materials require specific composition custom-made so they can form properly in powder bed fusion. This happens even if the materials are based on common aluminum alloys used in other processes. This allowed for developments in specialized aluminum alloys specially designed for additive manufacturing.
Aluminum is key to the future of metal powder bed fusion additive manufacturing because of its material expansion on a very specific nature. Any 3D printing company Dubai expert will tell you that the industry is diversifying rapidly when it comes to metal additive process types.
Competition is expected for machine investment dollars when it comes to the growing metal additive manufacturing community. You can already see some competition even if processes like direct energy deposition and metal binder jetting are not comparable in terms of technicality. This happens because people want to explore new metal processes.
Process-Specific Aluminum Materials
Although aluminum printing is mostly based in powder bed fusion technology, the use of process-specific aluminum materials will become famous in metal additive manufacturing. Developing a good solution for metal binder jetting of aluminum or bound metal deposition becomes inevitable. However, there is a shift in how some companies work on their commercial operations. Although some aluminum materials might become accessible commercially, such as bound metal sintered parts, aluminum powder bed fusion materials are transforming this process.
Powder bed fusion is not only the key and possibly the only additive manufacturing and printing at scale, but it can be used as a tool for unlocking new capabilities for aluminum parts. These capacities include machining and casting. This goes to show that aluminum and powder bed fusion will be used together in the future.