Not many people know that New Zealand is leading the world in this technology. Materials currently production-printed in NZ are: Inconel 718 (high temperature alloy), Stainless 316L, High-Strength Stainless 15-5-PH, and Titanium 6Al 4V.
Products are made for many industries from deep-well drilling to space, and everything in between, where the main drivers are any or all of the following aspects:
– Complex parts difficult to make by conventional means.
– Design freedom (uninhibited by manufacturing method restrictions)
– High strength but with low mass (esp in dynamic conditions)
– Vastly improved functionality
– Corrosion resistance
– No porosity or crevices allowable (esp food processing and medical)
– High labour input to make by conventional means, including fabrication and assembly costs.
– High MOQ or stock-holding issues
It is common for Metal 3D-printed products to transform into completely unique, game-changing and very disruptive products. The subsequent effect it has on business is also transformational.
And understanding the technology is the essential very first step! Design is Critical.