Following on from 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, 316L Stainless Steel, and H13 Tool Steel, Desktop Metal has now further expanded on its materials portfolio with the release of 4140 Chromoly Steel for the Studio System+.
Characterized by its toughness, abrasion resistance, and impact resistance, 4140 is one of the most versatile and all-purpose steels around that is ideal for industrial applications.
With its high strength-to-weight ratio, torsional strength and general toughness, the versatility of 4140 makes it useful for the aerospace, tool and die manufacturing, the oil and gas industries, as well as automotive, agricultural and defense sectors.
4140 is typically used to create gears, spindles, fixtures, jigs, and many other parts, including:
- Connecting Rods
- Sheet Metal Tooling
- Pump Shafts
A wide variety of parts can be fabricated for testing against real-world conditions using Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) technology. Custom tooling can be created cost-effectively for small and specialty jobs, with low per-part costs.
Application Example #1 – Mechanical Coupling (Automotive)
Mechanical couplings are commonly used to connect two rotating parts in many types of machinery, and available in a variety of configurations. Custom couplings must be fabricated for specific applications when off-the-shelf parts do not work, and this process is often time-consuming and costly.
Using the Studio System, a prototype can be produced in just days, where the functionality in the machinery can then be tested. Engineers can create models faster with multiple iterations and with lesser expenses. The high torsional strength of 4140 also enables it to withstand the stresses couplings on a daily basis.
Application Example #2 – Connecting Rod (Agriculture)
A key component in combustion engines, the rod is used to connect the piston head to the crankshaft. Significant loads and high temperatures are always present during combustion, so functional testing has to be carried out with metal parts.
Engineers can rapidly iterate on designs with the Studio System, to develop the most efficient components, and validate their performance before committing to the production of millions of parts via casting or forging. The ability of 4140 to withstand the high temperatures and mechanical stresses during combustion, makes it an ideal material for this application.
Application Example #3 – Press Brake Tooling (Sheet Metal Tooling)
Used to create predetermined bends in sheet metals, press brake tools have a wide range of applications from heavy-duty parts, to electronic enclosures to construction, and so on.
Custom tooling usually has long lead times and high costs, which makes it impractical for smaller or specialty jobs.
With the Studio System, custom tools can be printed quickly while still keeping per-part costs low. The toughness and impact resistance of 4140 makes it an excellent option for this application and it will also resist the usual wear and tear far better than others after thousands of uses.
4140 Chromoly Steel joins H13, 316L, and 17-4PH as core materials available for use with the Studio System now. Two other core materials – Alloy 625, Copper– are currently in development by engineers for actual use.