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  • Dr Izhar Aziz

Cost for metal printing

Updated: Jan 27

its always crucial to determine the cost for metal printing part, first to compare is with the traditional method even the later is known for high volume manufacturing part. Laser based 3D printing machine associated with expensive machine and material cost at a low production speed. Thus, not every part that is technologically feasible is reasonable from a business perspective. Sinter based metal AM technologies ( Binder Jetting, Metal FDM) promise to change this and lower the cost for metal parts for higher production volume


Material

The cost for stainless steel powder suitable for laser-based ranges between 40 to 80 euro/kg. Similar to powder-based fusion, current binder jetting (BJT) technologies use spherical powder particles. However, BJT start-ups like Desktop Metal claim to work with classical MIM powder. This could tap into significant material cost saving up to 90%: MIM Powder of alloy 316L has a prince range of only 6 to 12 euros/kg. For metal FDM, the feedstock consists of wire, granulate or rods made of metal powder and polymer binder compound with significant spread in feedstock cost. While granulates are based on classic MIM granulate and range between 15-18euro/kg for alloy 316L, filaments such as the BASF Ultrafuse 316LX are priced at 200 Euro/kg. However, similar metals filaments from alternative suppliers are available for 100Euro/kg (ampower.de)


Productivity

Analysis shows that laser based 3d printer production speed mainly depends on the number of lasers working parallel in the build chamber. For metal FDM the layer thickness is the key factor to increase the build volume per time. By increasing this parameter the production rate increases but also leads to a strong reduction of resolution and surface quality. As mentioned above, the cost for feedstock also vary depending on the system. Production speed in binder jetting is calculated from the total build job time and the packing density. The packing density reflects the sum of all part volumes referred to the complete build envelope. Packing density is typically 10% for mixed build jobs with different parts and 30% for optimised stackable parts in a large volume production. Build job times are between 20-40 hours. Below shows current production speed in cm3/h


Above article were extracted from the study by AMpower, germany. Please contact us shall you need further details on this topic.

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