Desktop Metal rolls out 17-4 PH Stainless Steel for Studio System

Following on from 316L Stainless Steel, Desktop Metal has now rolled out 17-4 PH Stainless Steel for use with the Studio System’s Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) technology.

Known for its corrosion resistance and high levels of strength and hardness, especially when heat treated, 17-4 PH hardened steel is suitable for a wide variety of applications because of its customizable post-sintering properties.

They include:

  • Manufacturing machinery
  • Chemical processing
  • Food processing
  • Pump components
  • Valving
  • Fasteners
  • Jigs and fixtures

With the in-house printing capability of the Studio System, engineers and designers can iterate quickly on-demand prototyping and achieve complex geometries not achievable with conventional processes. This makes it a cost-effective solution for low-volume parts production (custom one-off or replacement of obsolete parts).

Application Example #1 – End effectors

Commonly found on manufacturing and assembly lines, end effectors typically require complex custom geometries to work with their intended gripper, and interact with the environment according to requirements.

When production of assembled parts requires a change, the end effectors would also have to be changed accordingly. With production lines often needing to meet tight deadlines, it is essential to replace broken or produce newly required designs with haste.

When the part being handled is very small, the specific end effectors would be required to be similarly small too. With such high resolution being needed, the 250 µm high-resolution nozzle of the Studio System makes it a perfect solution. Conventionally, it would be difficult to machine and very costly to direct metal laser sinter.

With their great mechanical properties, long lifetime, high hardness, and mild corrosion resistance, 17-4 PH hardened steel is the perfect material option for end effectors that are used in traditional operating environments of a manufacturing floor.

Application Example #2 – Roller screw

As an essential component of linear roller screw actuators, roller screws provide high force output with excellent precision control and speed.

Commonly found in applications like power plants where high force, speed, and position are required, it is often a great choice for replacing costly, high maintenance hydraulic actuators.Prototyping is extremely difficult and expensive because of the complex threading and gearing integration. Thus, testing and iteration is an essential part of the design process, to ensure that it performs to the desired specifications of the actuator. With BMD, designs can be printed and iterated quickly in-house, and facilitate a better-designed product.

The excellent strength and wear resistance of 17-4 PH makes it ideal for the high loading and lifetime requirement of roller screw actuators. As most actuators are operated in industrial operating environments, 17-4 PH is highly ideal because of their mild corrosion resistance.

Application Example #3 – Parachute rings

Parachute rings form an integral component for the successful deployment of parachutes. Any failures during operation would result in a malformed or rough opening of the canopy. Thus, it’s critical for rings to be smooth on all sides so that it can slide along the parachute line efficiently during deployment.

With the necessity for completely rounded edges throughout the ring, laser and water cutting fabrication are not compatible. Parachute rings are conventionally produced with time-consuming hand fabrication and welding techniques. With BMD, however, they can be produced to the desired surface easily in a variety of geometries.With its high strength, 17-4 PH is ideal in withstanding the high loading and shock conditions during the parachute opening. Their mild corrosion resistance also lets it maintain its material properties throughout the long lifetime of the part.

Application Example #4 – Golf clubs

Since the 16th century to the present day, the design of golf clubs has steadily evolved from being carved out of wood to being cast or forged from a variety of metals.

With endless design possibilities for the perfect swing, many factors must be considered when designing a club. The Studio System makes it possible to design, prototype, test, and iterate on multiple designs in a short time so that designers can ensure that clubs perform as they are intended to.

BMD affords designers more freedom during designing, as they are no longer bound by the constraints of conventional manufacturing, and the accessibility of metal 3D printing allows for a new generation of golf clubs to be produced. The low volume manufacturing capability of one-off customized clubs can also be tuned individually for each golfer’s swing.

17-4 PH joins 316L as core materials available for use with the Studio System now. Four other core materials – Alloy 625, H13 tool steel, Copper, and AISI 4140 – are currently being developed.

Download the 17-4 PH MDS datasheet

Visit our Desktop Metal Studio System+ 3D printer product page for more information. You can also contact us via our contact, or +65 6631 8555 for any inquiries.