Everything Material in Material Science

Science. Tech. Business.

Join the Conversation

Producing Quality Metal Parts with Additive Manufacturing

April 22, 2020 3:59 pm

The aerospace industry is increasingly adopting metal additive manufacturing (AM) for both flight safety-critical aircraft parts and non-critical flight parts. The approach offers a shorter development cycle, which means products can be developed quicker and design changes easily incorporated. Similar to other 3D-printing methods, metal AM, specifically select laser melting (SLM) and electron-beam melting (EBM), builds up a part layer-by-layer by depositing thin layers of metal powder that are melted with a laser or other thermal source.

The Benefits of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing can be used for very fast prototyping of parts, short production runs, and as a faster and more economical way to create part molds and fixturing compared to machining. One of its greatest advantages is in making highly intricate parts. In the past, complex parts would require several different machining operations. With metal AM, it is possible to make a single part to replace multiple pieces that would otherwise be combined with welding or fastening systems. This not only makes manufacturing faster, less expensive and more consistent, but it also creates a seamless piece that is stronger and has less opportunity for failure.

How to Get Started

Producing a quality 3D-printed metal part requires an understanding of the powder properties used to create the part in addition to analyzing the strength and chemistry of the part itself. Partnering with a trusted independent testing laboratory like NSL can provide insight into the entire 3D-printing process, from powder characterization to determine the best tests to qualify parts for the aerospace industry.

NSL president Larry Somrack and quality assurance manager Cynthia Hagan were featured in Industrial Heating Magazine to discuss the process and benefits of producing quality metal parts with additive manufacturing. Click on the button below to read the full article in the March 2020 edition of Industrial Heating Magazine.

We would be happy to discuss any needs or questions that you or your organization may have. To reach out, please call us at 800-497-6752 or visit our contact us page.

Read More

Recent Posts

The Exponential Future of Metal Printing: New Technologies and Needs for Materials Science

Metal additive manufacturing has improved productivity by orders

Introduction to X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Different phases of materials have different benefits to

Moore’s Law for Metal Printing: Where We Are and How Do We Stay on Track?

In 1965, Gordon Moore set the path for