Desktop Metal has rolled out a new material, the 316L stainless steel for the Studio System™, the world’s first and only office-friendly metal 3D printing system for prototyping and low volume production.
A fully austenitic steel popular for its corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, 316L is ideal for applications in the most demanding industrial environments such as salt water in marine applications, caustic cleaners found in food processing environments, and chemicals in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Ric Fulop, CEO, and co-founder of Desktop Metal, said that the 316L enables engineers to print metal parts for a wide range of applications, including engine parts, laboratory equipment, pulp, and paper manufacturing, medical devices, chemical and petrochemical processing, kitchen appliances, jewelry, and even cryogenic tools and equipment.
Teams are now able to iterate quickly on 316L prototypes, print complex geometries that are not possible with most manufacturing methods, and produce end use parts cost-effectively.
3 applications of 316L parts printed with the Studio System are:
1. Combustion fuel nozzle for marine tankers
The UHT Atomizer, manufactured by John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, is a fuel oil atomizer for use with atomizing medium such as steam or air. It is installed in an HXG marine burner which is used on steam propulsion boilers on LNG tankers.
The objective of the atomizer is to improve low load burner performance, thus allowing the burner to run on a lower fuel oil throughput, saving operational costs when the vessel is maneuvering in port. 316L stainless steel is used due to its excellent mechanical properties at high temperatures.
Printed with the Studio System, the atomizer can be radically redesigned to function in a more fuel-efficient manner than those produced through traditional metalworking means.
Paul Newman, General Manager at John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, UK, said that unlike many parts that John Zink designs and manufactures, the UHT Atomizer can only be fabricated utilizing additive manufacturing.
Design constraints of casting, machining, and other methods can be eliminated as additive manufacturing technology continues to evolve.
2. Customized ring splint for medical use
Ring splints, a common medical device, are designed to immobilize or limit the range of motion of injured limbs. Ring splints are made of injected-molded plastic in standard sizes and parts break after a relatively short lifetime.
Due to traditional manufacturing methods, finger splints cannot be customized to improve fit. By 3D printing in 316L, ring splints can be custom-printed, on-demand to the desired size, with an aesthetic finish and increased durability.
3D printing of medical grade steel parts like the finger splint, which is customized to the patient anatomy, offers many advantages as compared to previous fabrication methods that take longer and have lower efficacy.
3. Impeller for harsh environments
Widely used across various industries, impellers are an essential component of pumps to move fluid through systems. Impellers require complex vanes to optimize pressures in the pump for different fluids and applications.
With chemical impellers, 316L is ideal for its chemical resistance and mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, such as those found in cryogenic, salt water, and petroleum pumps. The impellers are geometrically complex, with prototypes costing $1,000 or more. With the Studio System, the impeller was printed in 316L for $70. Ahmad Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer of Saudi Aramco, said that the oil and gas industry will benefit tremendously from metal 3D printing.
As the world’s premier energy and chemicals company and an early investor in Desktop Metal, they look forward to advancing the state of the art and developing next-generation applications where additive manufacturing can leapfrog existing manufacturing methods.
As innovative companies across multiple industries adopt metal 3D printing, it is critical in accelerating this growth by expanding the portfolio of desired materials. Their materials science team is pushing the boundaries to enable printing metal parts for a growing range of applications in as wide a material portfolio as possible.
The introduction of 316L seeks to fundamentally change the way metal parts are designed and manufactured. 316L adds on to the 17-4 PH stainless steel in the Studio System’s materials library.
With more than 30 materials in development, Desktop Metal plans to introduce additional core metals to its portfolio in 2019, including tool steels, superalloys, and copper.
Visit our Desktop Metal Studio System+ 3D printer product page for more information. You can also contact us via our contact form, firstname.lastname@example.org, or +65 6631 8555 for any enquiries.